The Academic Learning Transformation Lab (ALT Lab) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a cooperative that models and inspires connected learning for a networked world through faculty development, student engagement, communities of practice, and technology enhanced active learning.
The ALT Lab is a teaching and learning center which stresses community-building and experimentation. ALT Lab brings together a staff of specialists (learning innovation designers, online learning innovation liaisons, learning media innovation specialists, a graduate fellow, a communications & design specialist, an instructional technologist, and an IT analyst, as well as an associate director and director) to provide robust support to VUC faculty, staff, and students. ALT Lab initiatives weave together structured and unstructured activities to engage faculty through their preferred learning methods and desires for interaction.
- New Faculty Academy, a three day event at the start of each academic year for new faculty to consult with ALT Lab staff and be introduced to ALT-Lab facilities and programs.
- Online Learning Experience, a five-week program offered in Summer, Fall, and Spring for faculty and staff who have taught or who will be teaching online.
- Innovative Learning Media, consultation services to help faculty become media content creators.
- ALT Lab Agora, a part coffee shop (with coffee!), part meeting ground; it is both a physical place (within the Academic Learning Commons) and a gathering of people. There is no formal agenda, no dedicated theme or topic, just ‘shop talk;’ that is, talking about teaching and learning,
- Incubator Classroom, a state-of-the-art learning space that contains a wide array of technologies and furniture that combine to provide unique opportunities to enhance teaching and learning.
- 3D Printing
- Digital Storytelling Program, providing faculty participants with the opportunity to develop the practices and skills to create digital stories, and to explore how digital storytelling might be employed in their own instructional contexts.
- Faculty Learning Communities, interdisciplinary groups of faculty who engage in active, collaborative exploration around a common learning issue. FLC participants might have any number of goals, ranging from deep exploration of a topic of interest to production of learning resources. Groups are formed as common topics are identified.
- Brown Bag Lunch Series, partnering with interested departments and schools around topics of interest.
An annual ‘unconference’ of formal and informal special events, performances, and festive activities celebrating stories of learning transformation and exploring new possibilities. Activities are meant to be experimental, innovative, and responsive, including past and current topics such as ALTCamp, Hackjam, Active Makerspace, Editing Wikipedia, Gaming + Learning activities.