Nertil Mera, PhD
Lecturer, Project Associate
Valeu-x Collaborative Centre is a new Lab which is located at the E-building of EPOKA’s Campus. Previously it used to be a large classroom but currently it is dedicated to accommodate the Valeu-x project. This centre is currently functional serving for the online teaching and learning activities, virtual collaborative learning in the framework of the project activities and other activities of the same nature.
Valeu-x centre is being reconceptualized by increasing the functions and purposes of use through redesigning the workspace by adding different corners, meeting areas, individual and group work units and reorganizing the equipment for and performing multi tasks and a more efficient use. It will aim at enhancing virtual collaboration, increasing the quality and level of efficiency in teaching and knowledge retention through interactive learning methods, thus contributing on skills enhancement and internationalization at home.
The centre is being used mainly by the students and lecturers that are part of the project giving students the needed technical and technological tools in order to ease the virtual collaboration both during the national VCL and currently for the international VCL. The new concept of the Valeu-x collaborative centre is to serve this purpose even after the project as it offers the tools and technology needed for virtual collaborative learning. Up to now the centre has been used by around 5 lecturers, 100 students, 2 admin staff as currently it is fully designated to the project and those who are part of the project activities have priority of use. After the project, it will continue to serve to all the staff and students based on their needs.
The equipment received through Valeu-x project include PCs, Smart screen, Sound system, Professional Camera etc. These equipment helps the students work for their group projects where some of them join from home and some others from the centre. They can hold meetings, share materials, work and communicate instantly with one another as well as present their outcomes to a larger audience.
Some of the challenges regarding the equipment was related to some delays for getting an offer from the equipment providers. Nevertheless it did not effect the project timelines and activities. Students are now using the centre in order to collaborate with their peers from other universities and countries. This is directly serving to the virtual collaboration and internationalization purposes.
In order to make the centre more functional, an additional equipment such as a 360 degree rotating camera by detecting sound and motion could be added. This would be more helpful for hybrid lecturing where some of the students follow from home and some others physically participate on the centre. For a more sustainable and long term use, a portable green screen could be added as well in order to record lectures in a professional way and then share them with the students. These equipment will be added in the framework of the reconceptualization of the centre. The main purpose of this center will be incorporating Virtual Technology in the academic culture of EPOKA University.
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