DO use a personal approach to familiarize users with new space and technology

How do you teach faculty and students to use new space as it was designed? Across campus, academic and IT staff have found that more personal approaches are effective (vs. large training sessions) and creating low barriers to entry will facilitate usage. Participants saw a variety of documentation related to space set-up and technology, and expressed that in many instances, providing a document of the various set-up capabilities of a flexible classroom goes a long way in helping instructors think outside the box of a traditional lecture format.

At the School of Public Health, Ian Tosh (academic technology) finds that an individualized approach to exposing faculty to the technology is best - in addition to general documentation, he actually assigns staff to “loiter” in the classrooms at the start of a new semester so that they are on hand to assist a faculty member, and that these one-on-one interactions have been most helpful in getting instructors up to speed.

Mike Goodwin said that his approach at HGSE is to focus on teaching the TFs how to use the technology, an approach also seen at HBS where each class is assigned an “ed tech rep.” The individualized approach is the only option at the Hauser Digital Teaching & Learning Studio, where faculty sign-up for one-on-one sessions with the production staff in the development of their digital assets.

Another approach toward making a culture change in the way instructors utilize new space and technology is by providing examples - in person and remotely. At the Kennedy School, the staff organizing a teaching week where faculty can sign up to watch each other instruct -- it helps them see new spaces and new use of spaces. In addition, HKS provides a series of web-hosted videos that showcase the options faculty have at their disposal. Finally, creating low barrier entry options can also facilitate adoption - for example, at the Visualization Lab, Rus Gant shared that they actually do quite a bit of exploration of 2D video and media for instructors as a first foray into the capabilities of the immersive 3D experience.