Making the most of classroom space; the 31/21 rule

Posted by Jerry Doll on Fri, Jan, 13, 2012 @ 09:01 AM

kris phillipsAs we strive to provide technology furniture solutions for classroom and corporate environments, we have found the best way to do so is “listen to our customers.”  One of our clients — Towson University, Maryland — serves as a great resource for NOVA Solutions. They often provide us with new ideas and unique ways of approaching our business.  Recently, I spoke with Kris Phillips, Director of Planning at Towson about how he justifies building space for traditional classrooms versus computer labs.

Phillips (pictured) explained how Towson University uses the “31/21 Rule.” Here’s how it works:  Out of 45 scheduling hours in a typical week (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm), they expect lecture halls to be used a minimum of 31 hours and computer labs a minimum of 21 hours.

Towson University ClassroomSince there are far more lecture classes than computer classes, it was inefficient to build spaces that were strictly used as computer labs. But, with The Trolley monitor lift systems, classroom space can easily convert from lecture hall to computer lab with the press of a button.

Phillips stated, “Technology such as The Trolley, that allows a room to be used as a lecture hall more often instead of just a dedicated computer lab, gives us the opportunity to schedule additional classes in that room and make the most of our physical space.  It simply gives us more flexibility.”

In terms of funding, Towson completes a detailed analysis of every space in every building, taking into consideration the 31/21 rule as well as many other factors.  Being able to utilize one classroom space for multiple uses helps the university justify the expense of adding a combination lecture hall/computer lab utilizing NOVA’s Trolley monitor lift technology.

An added advantage to creating more multi-use classrooms comes at the end of the semester when students are working on projects or studying for final exams and the demand for computer access is at an all time high. What was once used as a lecture hall for most of the semester can now become a fully functional computer lab by raising the NOVA Trolley monitor lifts, providing students with the additional resources they need to be successful.

With more than 21,000 students, Towson University is the second-largest public university in Maryland. As a metropolitan university, Towson combines research-based learning with practical application. Their many interdisciplinary partnerships with public and private organizations throughout Maryland provide opportunities for research, internships and jobs. Towson University is a founding member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU).

Some of the NOVA classrooms at Towson University feature NOVALinked™, a networking system that allows instructors to control all of the Trolley monitor lifts in the classroom, simultaneously.  Find out more by clicking the button below.


Topics: Classroom, Nova Solutions, technology, classroom furniture, novalinked, trolley, monitor lift, university, college, Towson