Business Proposals for Internet Cafe - DOC by htw40218


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                                                                                                  Paper 4.1

                                       The University of Edinburgh

                                         Space Management Group

                                             15 November 2005

                                Learning & Study Spaces Review Group
                          Report to SMG following meeting of 2 November 2005

Brief description of the paper

This paper updates the Group on discussions held at a recent LSSRG meeting on:
   1. e-Assessment, Space for e-examinations
   2. Student Room Booking System and Mapping Student Study Spaces
   3. Innovations in Design of Physical Learning Spaces
   4. Appleton Tower : Refurbishment of the Teaching Area

Action requested

The Space Management Group is asked to note the work to date and comment as appropriate.

Resource implications

Does the paper have resource implications? Yes

If „Yes‟, in which section(s) of the paper are they described?

All sections have resource implications which will need to be taken into account at a later decision stage.

Risk Assessment

Does the paper include a risk analysis? No

Equality and Diversity

Does the paper have equality and diversity implications? Yes

Proposals in section 4 take into account issues of disabled access.

Any other relevant information


Freedom of information

Can this paper be included in open business? Yes

Originator of the paper

Dr J Martin, LSSRG Chair, 11 November 2005
                        Learning & Study Spaces Review Group
               Report to SMG following meeting of 2 November 2005

1. e-Assessment project : Space for e-examinations
With support from the Principal‟s e-learning fund, a project based in MALTS has been established to
look at various aspects of e-assessment within the University. A key area being investigated is online
examinations, especially multiple choice, but also e-essays. Demand for these types of examinations
is increasing both for formative and summative purposes. Currently a central computer lab is
reserved for any such examination, meaning that it has to be closed for several hours, at a time when it
is also increasingly needed as a vital study and revision location. It was proposed that a suitable
space, probably an existing examination hall such as one floor of Adam House, should be equipped
for use as a computer-based examination hall. The hall could still be used for conventional
examinations when not required for e-examinations.
The Group supported this proposal in principle, though no costings or potential usage figures were
provided on which to base a full assessment. Issues would need to be resolved about the
appropriateness and robustness of wireless and portable computing for this purpose and this would
affect the scale of investment and the nature of the resulting space.
2. Student Room Booking System and Mapping Student Study Spaces
An MIS Project, “Student Study Space – Bookings”, has been re-instated to put in place a new system
for the start of 2006/7. This will be based on a “zone” of rooms in EBIS which would be bookable by
students through MyEd using their matriculation numbers. It is envisaged that the zone would
comprise some centrally booked rooms during the day when they are not booked for teaching and,
possibly, some rooms held by Schools or other units. A set of rules will need to be agreed – such as
rooms being bookable by students only 1 or 2 days in advance as priority will always be given to
teaching. The purpose of the student booking system relates to informal group study activities
organised by students; arranging accommodation for scheduled group study activity will remain the
responsibility of Schools.
The system will also permit students to see what spaces are free and available for private study
without booking. It remains to determine the range of rooms which will be made available through
this zone, both at the pilot stage and long term. The Group recommends a presumption that every CB
classroom will eventually be in the system unless there is a particular reason to the contrary.
3. Innovations in Design of Physical Learning Spaces
Two research projects funded by SFC (Spaces for Learning – not yet available on the web) and by
JISC (eSpaces – have recently published their
findings in the area of learning space design and its implications. The Group heard a verbal report of
a meeting promoted by SFC at which it was clear that senior staff in the Learning Policy and Strategy
Directorate had been impressed by the input to these projects and the messages had been taken on
board by their Estate Division colleagues. It was felt that such considerations may well influence
their evaluation of future bids for LTIF monies. Some quite radical ideas were discussed at this
meeting, including a suggestion that new teaching spaces will generally tend to be square rather than
rectangular, reflecting a shift from teacher to student focus. A key message had been the need to
build flexibility and sustainability into all new projects to accommodate rapidly changing learning and
teaching styles.
A joint meeting of LSSRG and TRIAG has been arranged for 23 November to discuss these and other
reports in detail. It is likely that a university0-wide seminar will be held in the first half of 2006 to
hear from some of those involved in the projects and some of the exemplar sites, and to debate the
implications for the University.
4. Appleton Tower : Refurbishment of the Teaching Area
The Group considered the Architect‟s proposals and made recommendations as follows:
i)     Lecture Theatres: The Group accepted that these should remain relatively conventional in
       layout because of the need to accommodate student numbers within current teaching patterns.
       The Architect‟s second recommendation was supported, involving two intermediate stairways
       and oblique seating in the outer blocks for LT1,2,3, and oblique seating in the lower/outer
       blocks and disabled access to the front of LT4,5. All five halls should be equipped with a
       personal response system (PRS).
ii)    Concourse and Mezzanine: The Architect‟s proposals for an internet café occupying space to
       the north of the Concourse and other kinds of study space in the “culturally redundant”
       cloakroom under LT4 were welcomed. The Group supported the view that this should be
       taken further to include an “apron” of mixed study and social accommodation spilling out
       from the internet café, perhaps as much as two thirds of the way across the Concourse. In
       general every opportunity should be taken to create an atmosphere in all the “public” areas
       conducive to study and communication.
iii)   Classrooms: There was a discussion of the utilisation of the space currently occupied by
       Rooms 6,7,8 and whether all or some of this should be configured as an innovative “teaching
       studio” promoting collaborative and group learning. The issues were referred for further
       discussions with users and with MALTS.

John Martin
11 November 2005

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