LabMaster 4000

LabMaster in Use in Votey 246

LabMaster 4000 is an application designed to help run lab sessions where students will be asking questions. Joe Student runs the application upon arriving in the lab and can then click a button whenever he has a question. That way Joe doesn't have to actively seek the TA's attention while waiting for help and can work on something else while he waits.

LabMaster knows where each student is sitting, so a map projected onto the wall at the front of the room can easily show who's waiting to ask a question and in what order. Bobbo the TA will know exactly how many people are waiting for help (and can decide how much time to spend with each student) and Susie Learner will know how many people are ahead of her (and can estimate how long before Bobbo gets to her).

At the same time, since LabMaster knows who's sitting in each seat, it can build an attendance sheet for any given lab session. An exact record of when each student logged into and out of a lab computer is far more reliable than trying to call out names at the beginning of the session, and is immune to having a student say, weeks later, "Hey, I was there; you must just not have seen me raise my hand!"

While we're piling on features, consider this: LabMaster knows who the Teaching Assistants are and where they're sitting too! If the TA isn't wearing a giant "TA" hat, a student can just click a button on LabMaster and ask where and when to find a TA for a particular class. The program will list all the help sessions available, not just which helpers happen to be in the room at the time.