Voting with their seats: computer laboratory design and the casual user

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Abstract:

Student computer laboratories are provided by most teaching institutions around the world; however, what is the most effective layout for such facilities? The log-in data files from computer laboratories at a regional university in Australia were analysed to determine whether there was a pattern in student seating. In particular, it was investigated whether students and academic staff usage was affected by the layout of a computer laboratory and therefore a preference by students in where they were seated. It was found that the layout of the computer laboratories does not affect which computer layout a student will use. Further, it was found that academic staff prefer to use a computer laboratory designed along a more traditional lecture room layout when working with first-year students. This research will be valuable to institutions designing new computer laboratory facilities.

Keywords: Computer facilities design; Facility utilisation research; Spatial behaviour; Use studies

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01449290500489277

Affiliations: Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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