As we head into the new year, it’s worth recognizing that most educational facilities are rapidly becoming more digital. Many educational institutions are outfitting with new computer labs and equipment. If you’re looking to build a better lab environment for your students, it’s important to come up with a layout that will cater to both the needs of your students and your hardware. Here are some of the most popular computer lab layouts and how they can benefit students and teaching professionals alike.
Chances are you’ve sat in a classroom with desks arranged to face the professor at the front of the room. Often times high schools and colleges will use the standard classroom design as a lab layout. This is an incredibly effective layout if you’re going to be delivering a lot of presentations, but it falls short for collaboration and high-traffic work environments.
In a u-shaped computer lab design, students can better engage with their instructor on a one-on-one basis or as a whole group. This layout is also better for computer maintenance and technicians to have easy access to the hardware without interrupting the whole class. This design is less ideal for test taking and tends to take up more space overall.
Inverted U-Shaped Lab
An inverted u-shape layout is similar to the u-shape layout, but flipped. Students face outward which enables the instructor to easily work with students while still monitors what the rest of the class is doing. This layout is best for classrooms where the professor needs to assist students individually one at a time, as it minimizes the distance the instructor must walk between workstations.
A four-leaf clover lab design is arranged in, you guessed it, a four-leaf clover shape. This design maximizes privacy and is great for reducing the possibility of cheating, as well as eliminates any potential for students to disturb one another. Four-leaf clover labs are ideal for exam environments, but not as great for presentations.
So which computer lab layout makes the best sense for your classroom? Consider the needs of your students and choose the one that performs best for your teaching methods. No layout is perfect, but choosing a suboptimal layout will make it more difficult for students to properly learn and engage with their peers and the instructor.
Educational and Lab Furniture from Edwards & Hill
Need help designing your next computer lab? Edwards & Hill can help you plan and install. Edwards and Hill is a leading office, education, medical, and hospitality furniture supply and installation firm. We provide quality design and installation services that can fit any style and scale. If you’re interested in talking to a professional about any of our services contact us at 301-317-4250.