Given the increasing pressure to maximize the utility of our ever shrinking space here at UCLA we're re-evaluating the need for our various computer labs and are wondering whether other law schools are doing the same. Specifically, are these spaces being downsized or repurposed to meet some other student need in your school?
Even though we have no laptop requirement, nearly all of our students have their own laptop from which they can print and access network file shares. Our labs offer little specialized software beyond Office 2007 so it's not clear how much value they get from using our PC's vs. using their own. Our peak usage nears 100% for last minute printing of lawyering skills papers, which they *could* do from their laptops if they wanted. Beyond that we rarely exceed 50% utilization of the 75 or so PC's we have across 5 locations (to accommodate about 1000 students).
I find some helpful Teknoids info including an email from earlier this year entitled "Computer Lab Seat Ratio" along with the CALI 2007 presentation by Pepperdine. Both include some useful statistics but I'm wondering what other folks are doing out there. We're hoping to create a better long-term plan than just "stay the course." :) To that end we also plan to poll our students to determine what they do value and see if they have any suggestions for improving these spaces or adding services. To those who've already polled their students, have you learned anything useful?
Scott MacKnight, Mgr.
UCLA School of Law