University of California (UC) Riverside will open a new tech-driven student success center next month.
The building, which has been under construction for the last two years, will incorporate new technologies, both inside the classroom and throughout common spaces in the building.
The school’s Information Technology Solutions (ITS) team and the Exploration Center for Innovative Teaching and Engagement (XCITE) Instructional Design team worked together to deploy technologies that align with UC Riverside’s Rooms for Increasing Student Engagement (RISE) initiative that is launching this semester.
For the classrooms, each room includes projectors, video screens, and microphones. Additionally, students and instructors can connect their devices to consoles to use screens in the lecture halls, conference rooms, and lounges. To enable the use of electronic devices, outlets are located close to each seat in the lecture halls.
A centerpiece of the new building is a 400-seat in-the-round lecture hall. In the classroom, the seats are tiered in a circle with swivel chairs that turn all the way around. A circular screen below the ceiling surrounds the room offering multiple views of video images from eight projectors.
“The technology was carefully selected to ensure all instructional and conferencing spaces in the Student Success Center meet the new RISE standard,” said Michael Capriotti, manager of multimedia technologies for ITS. “These are exciting changes that put UC Riverside on the leading edge of classroom technology and provide innovative opportunities for connection and engagement.”
The goal of the building, according to XCITE Director Richard Edwards, is to create a fully immersive environment for students.
In addition to classroom technologies, the school will also offer a self-guided audio tour of the building. As part of the tour, guests can access recorded audio, photos, and a website on their smartphones by scanning codes on signs throughout the building.