University Center for Teaching and Learning’s Open Lab

Comments from Chancellor Gallagher at a recent Board of Trustees meeting.

The Teaching Center’s Open Lab serves the growing interest in the Pitt community for academic innovation and exploration with advanced technology and full spectrum pedagogical support.

The Open Lab is an inclusive environment that welcomes faculty, staff, and students to experiment with 3D printers, 360 degree video cameras, virtual reality, and other exciting forms from the vanguard of instructional technology. We are eager to take on new projects, forge connections between potential collaborators, and assist in making your vision a reality. Drawing on the Teaching Center’s resources, we can provide multifaceted support ranging from instructional development and evidence of impact to hands-on training and experimentation in our Open Lab facility, currently operating in Alumni Hall, Suite B10.

We invite everyone in the Pitt community with a spirit of adventure to join us as we push ahead into the future. Walk-ins are welcome, or contact us at to arrange a tour or consultation. We are ready to help take your ideas to the next level of innovation!

The Open Lab has a great track record of changing the very nature of your course to provide the most engaging environment for teaching and learning. Recently we have assisted the following faculty with their courses.

Open Lab Instuctor Spotlight

Study Abroad in Virtual Reality

Professor Orin James, a biology faculty member at Pitt Bradford, leads a yearly Study Abroad program to Austria. This past September in Bradford the Open Lab provided students interested in the program with Google Cardboard VR viewers as well as the chance to use an Oculus Rift headset. Students and faculty used this equipment to take virtual tours of some of the sites that they may get to visit during their time in Austria, but they also explored ice caves, tropical oceans, and even the human body itself.

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Digital Nonfiction Workshop

Erin Anderson
A big thank you to Meg Koleck and the Center for Teaching and Learning Open Lab for working with me on this project. When I first got the idea that I might want to experiment with 360 video in my teaching, I saw it as a long-term proposition that I might aim to develop over the next couple of years. Working with Meg, I was able to get the support I needed develop a project for my class over a single semester.

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3D Math Models

Donna RosenburgOne of our regular customers is Mathematics professor, Donna Rosenberger. Over the years, we have formed a good working relationship, so when one of our colleagues, Perry Ganchuck, mentioned a book he had been interested in called Visualizing Mathematics with 3D Printing, I offered Donna a chance to get some of those models printed for her courses.

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SHRS 360 Video Tours

SHRS LogoAfter working with Student Health Rehabilitation Services to create some basic 360 video tours of the athletic training rooms in the Petersen Events Center, we are currently developing a more ambitious and intensive project that will focus on creating new and improved 360 content for SHRS recruiting efforts.

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Splint Work

Jennifer WhiteJennifer White is an instructor and doctoral candidate with the Occupational Therapy program in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Following a workshop given by our Teaching Commons, Jennifer was referred to our department by Carol Washburn. Jennifer expressed a general interest in 3D printing, and after some discussion and research we found that there is some potential for creating custom sized splints for hand and wrist injuries.

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