Space was reconstructed in existing facilities (old home economics labs) to house a 64-seat integrated course. The room is an environment conducive to an instructor-facilitated, student-oriented learning experience. Funding for this project was provided by the university, the California State University System Chancellor's Office, and the Cal Poly Plan (university-wide student supplemental fee program).
The general layout of the room is shown below.
Diagram of Room Layout
Originally there were 32 computer Mac PPC workstations, with 2 students per station. These were replaced in the summer of 2001 with G4 Towers and NEC Flat Screen monitors.
Each station is equipped with interfaces to probes (Vernier) for data acquisition during experiments. Gas chromatographs (GowMac) have also been interfaced with the student workstations and bench top spectrophotometers(Genesys Spec20) are available . Side benches provide surfaces for a desktop ventilation hood, FT-IRs, balances, sinks, and storage. An adjoining prep room is used for chemicals and solutions with an ice machine, desktop hood, sinks, gas tank storage area, etc.
Our workstation arrangement involves octagonal clusters with 4 workstations and accompanying instrumentation for each cluster. This allows for a more convenient collaborative work environment and easier access to small groups (2-8) for more individualized instruction and monitoring.
Electrical connections to lab equipment and computers are separate and run under an elevated floor. Helium gas lines for the gas chromatography units and deionized water run through the ceiling. With the Robotel video feed to all monitors, it is possible to have recessed fluorescent lighting.
Interactions are directed through the instructor's master computer as well as a server programmed for regulated access to class and internet resources. Course materials are provided through a web server call chemweb. A Robotel system delivers computer generated and interfaced information simultaneously from the instructor's station.