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21st Century Classroom

Saint Xavier U Transforms Classrooms Into Learning Studios

A learning studio at Saint Xavier

Saint Xavier University is reimagining the classroom with "learning studios" designed for collaboration. Three learning spaces at the institution's Chicago campus have been outfitted with café-style furniture, flat-panel displays and the Christie Brio content sharing platform.

A key requirement for the university was the ability for students to connect their mobile devices to the classroom displays. "We started off looking at other products and all of them had their limitations of whether they could connect with Mac, iOS, Android or PC," explained Chris Zakrzewski, assistant provost for technology and instructional innovation at Saint Xavier, in a statement. "Brio was the product that had the most breadth in its ability to connect these and other devices wirelessly to monitors that are in our rooms."

Saint Xavier worked with integrator Pentegra Systems to install three Christie Brios in each of the smaller studio classrooms and four in the larger space. Each Brio is connected to either a 65-inch or a 75-inch flat-panel display. Lecterns equipped with touchscreens allow instructors to arrange and share content on the displays.

"The students have responded very positively to the learning studios. They have told us that the rooms paint a picture that the institution is engaged in creating the best learning environment for them that we can," said Zakrzewski. "They feel more comfortable in the learning space, and we know the more comfortable a student feels in their space the more engaged they’ll be."

The learning studios in Chicago also allowed Saint Xavier to pilot the collaboration technology for a larger project at the university's new campus in Gilbert, AZ. For the Gilbert Campus's fall 2015 opening, Saint Xavier installed 70 Christie Brios in learning studio classrooms as well as the learning commons.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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