Robinson Hall B106

Classroom Features, Technology Instructions, and Teaching Tips

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Classroom Features

  • Instructor console with PC
  • Projector with two screens
  • Document camera
  • Round tables can be split into half rounds
  • White boards on three walls
  • FAQs and Troubleshooting

Technology Instructions and Teaching Tips

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Instructor console with PC


  1. If the PC is not already on, check that the console screen is powered on, press the computer power button, or call support: 3-3456.
  2. Log in with MESA: Enter your Mason username and password if you need to access your MESA drive. Remember to log out when you are finished.
  3. To use Ink2Go to annotate electronic documents, to capture snapshots or video of your screen, or to work on live whiteboards and save that work, see additional information here.


Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Model thinking and problem solving: Use the touch screen like a doc cam and paper to solve problems, annotate texts, or draw a diagram in real time, while sharing your thought process: Turn the screen flat, open a whiteboard in Ink2Go, and use your stylus to write or draw. Or ask a student to come up and model the work for the class. You can also then save the document and post for your students to review later.
  2. Put students in the driver’s seat: When you have students lead class presentations or discussions, ask students to pre-load their slides from USB, OneDrive, or other cloud sites before class to save time. Remind any students who use Mac OS that some slides may display differently on this computer. Make sure they blank the screen to keep any login information private.
  3. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Projector with two screens (duplicate)


  1. The projector may take 20-30 seconds to power down, and 20-30 seconds to power up on restart.
  2. Your screen(s) may automatically roll down when you turn the system on, or you may need to pull the screen(s) down using the cord.
  3. Once the system is on, an automatic screen can be manually controlled by the wall switch if needed.


Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Survey or quiz your students in real time to see if they’re getting it: Since most students carry a mobile device, you can use a free or low-cost tool (Kahoot, PollEverywhere, Quizlet, etc.) to project a question on the screen and collect students’ responses anonymously during class. For additional learning, try a three-step process: ask a question and gather initial answers; have students consult with a partner about their answer; ask the same question again. (The best part is not that more students answer correctly, but that many students have explained or understood why the right answer is right.)
  2. Collaborate with your students: Using OneDrive or Blackboard, you can share a link with multiple students so they can use their own devices to contribute to a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document that you display on screen. (This may work best if you edit in your browser; your students won’t need any special software or accounts.) Your students could help you identify resources about recent economic data, brainstorm solutions to a health services problem, compose a database of their favorite movies, or list questions for an upcoming guest speaker. Often collaborative editing allows quiet students to contribute in ways that spoken discussion might not.
  3. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Document camera


  1. Press the “DOC CAM” button on the touch panel controller to select the document camera as the source.
  2. Place the item on the white square or clear surface–document should be placed face-up.
  3. For capturing photos and recording videos of your item, insert a USB device into the USB port on the document camera. Press the capture/delete button on the document camera’s control panel to capture a picture of the displayed image.
  4. Note: Some document camera models, such as the Wolfvision VZ8-Lite4, will not include the capture/recording feature.


Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Share your students’ finds: Remember that the doc cam can project a view from a student’s phone or tablet (though with varying image quality) and three-dimensional items as well as papers; your students’ backpacks and devices may have examples they can quickly share with the class using the doc cam. Using student examples can help strengthen connections between abstract concepts and their lived experience.
  2. Modified “gallery walk”: In a classroom with extended whiteboards, a team member can be selected to guide other students through the solution the team posted on the board as they move around the room. Here, using the doc cam, one or two students can bring a written record up to explain to the whole class; if the instructor selects these students at random, then all team members are always accountable for being ready to explain their team’s progress. Explaining and watching others explain the steps that led to a solution is a crucial element in retaining and transferring new knowledge.
  3. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Round tables can be split into half rounds
  1. Move between collaborative and individual work stations: Pushing tables or desks together facilitates partner and/or group work for activities like peer review, collaborative problem solving, small group peer teaching, jigsaw reading and reporting out activities, group testing, or working with manipulatives (like Legos). Remember, group sizes and table configurations can be rearranged even within a class session if a subsequent activity calls for individual work space for assessment activities or individual reflection or work.
  2. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

White boards on three walls

Supporting Active and Engaged Learning


  1. Make students’ group work visible: When students work out problem sets on the white boards in pairs or small groups, it gives the instructor a chance to observe their ideas, where they might be getting stuck, or where they may have a particularly interesting contribution. Asking groups to share out their ideas from their public workspaces often leads to a greater variety of responses and can invite interesting debates and feedback from peers. (Hint: If you’ll use white boards regularly, you can ask students to purchase and bring their own markers.)
  2. Make learning and problem solving visual: Asking students to draw a concept map or a mental model of a concept or process on the white board can be a helpful learning tool for visually or spatially-inclined students. It may be interesting to see how different pairs or groups of students imagine a similar idea.
  3. Elicit peer feedback in a round-robin fashion: Students may begin by drafting a problem statement or a proposal, drawing a first version of a diagram or model, or writing discussion questions or key ideas on the board. Then, you might have the students rotate in one direction to add comments, questions, feedback on their peers’ work until they return to their space to see what feedback has been left for them. This helps engage all students in pushing each other’s thinking while learning about their peers’ approaches to a similar problem or topic as part of the learning process.
  4. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.