Project-Based Learning in Urban Planning and Sustainability: Interactive Technology for Graphical Communication and Visualization

Project Title: Project-Based Learning in Urban Planning and Sustainability: Interactive Technology for Graphical Communication and Visualization

Project Lead’s Name: David Prytherch


Phone: (513) 529-9284

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CAS

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Jonathan Levy

Other Team Member Email Address:

Brief description of project: Installing interactive projector hardware in Shideler 007 will enable students in urban planning, geography, and sustainability to collaborate with faculty and clients in community- and project-based learning. The Department of Geography offers an Urban and Regional Planning major that engages students in applied and project-based learning. The Institute for the Environment and Sustainability offers a co-major in Sustainability and Energy which features hands-on client projects. The recent renovation of Shideler Hall included a SHD 007 as a shared GEO/IES instructional laboratory and studio space to serve these studio courses (combined annual enrollment 60-70), among others. However, no interactive projector was ultimately installed in the room. Installation of an interactive projector and whiteboard would enable students and faculty to better collaborate -- technologically and graphically -- in client-based studios in urban planning and sustainability.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: No

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: OGEO and IES curricula increasingly emphasize studio and project-based learning, particularly in advanced courses required of all planning and sustainability students. This demands classroom design and instructional technology that supports interactive learning and decision-making, especially the ability to display and mark-up graphical materials (e.g. maps) and capture records of group collaboration (e.g. brainstorming, "to do" lists, etc.). When Shideler Hall was renovated, two rooms -- instructional laboratory SHD 007 and project studio SHD 136 -- were intended for such learning, but interactive projectors were not installed in either room. In 2016 we requested and received Student Tech Fee funding to purchase an interactive projector for SHD 136 and site license for CommunityViz software to enable students to better collaborate with community clients. We now request Installation of such hardware in SHD 007 to better enable this room to also fill its intended and potential purpose, including through use of visioning software.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: In a complex and fast-changing world, students and decision-makers need tools for creatively visualizing and analyzing complex geographical information, and projecting the possible outcomes of different policy decisions. In addition, studio-based courses offers a learning experience that emphasizes creativity and collaboration skills prized by employers. This is particularly important for future planning and sustainability professionals, who must analyze and visually communicate existing conditions and best practices in order to better inform decision-making that support long-term goals. And there is no more effective way to learn those skills than through real-world projects involving community clients, learning through service to people as they confront key planning issues like growth management, economic development, and sustainability. Learning the skills for doing so collaboratively requires the right kind of hardware enabling group collaboration and graphical communication.

How will you assess the project?: Outcomes of this project and assessment techniques include the following.

  1. Incorporation of interactive projection into project-based studio learning in SHD 007, assessment of final projects for evidence of collaborative, graphical-learning.
  2. Small group instructional diagnosis and other forms of in-class observation will be used to evaluate effectiveness of incorporating hardware into community-based projects.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: Yes

If funded, what results did you achieve?: In 2016 we applied for Tech Fee funding to install a similar interactive projection set-up in SHD 136. We are in the process of purchasing the CommunityViz site license. The projector has gained increasing usage both in client- and other research meetings, and now in Spring 2017 it has helped transform student collaboration in project-based courses. We are still learning the capabilities of the technology, and we will not be able to assess until the end of this semester, but we're very pleased with the results. Final report to be submitted at end of Spring 2017.

Did you submit a final report?: No

What happens to the project in year two and beyond? Will there be any ongoing costs such as software or hardware maintenance, supplies, staffing, etc.? How will these be funded?: Interactive projection hardware will be maintained and supported by the Department of Geography and the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability.

Budget: Hardware, Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): Epson 595WI Interactive Projector, Crestron DM-RMC-200-C C2G, USB Extender

Hardware Costs: $3,580.00

Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance: Installation Materials: Cables & Connectors Wall Plates/Rack Plates, Misc. Installation Materials. Integration Service: Design & Engineering,Integration Labor, Project Management, CAD/Drafting, Testing/System Optimization

Contractual Services, etc. Costs: $2,070.00

What is the total budget amount requested?: $5,650.00

Comments: A non-interactive projector was installed in this room. It is little used and could be installed elsewhere, off-setting the cost of this project. Thank you for your time and consideration.