Definition: A laboratory used primarily for individual or group instruction that is informally scheduled, unscheduled, or open.
Description: An open laboratory is designed for or furnished with equipment that serves the needs of a particular discipline or discipline group for individual or group instruction where 1) use of the space is not formally or regularly scheduled, or 2) access is limited to specific groups of students. Included in this category are spaces generally called music practice rooms, language laboratories used for individualized instruction, studios for individualized instruction, special laboratories or learning laboratories (e.g., speech, hearing, law, psychology, and health-related professions) if discipline restricted, individual laboratories, and computer laboratories involving specialized restrictive software or where access is limited to specific categories of students. For example, a computer laboratory with only engineering or CAD software or a computer-based writing laboratory available only to English Composition students would be classified as an open laboratory because of the restricted usage of the space for a particular discipline or discipline group. Spaces containing computer equipment that is not restricted to a specific discipline or discipline group are classified as Study Rooms (410) unless the primary intent is to function as a site for structured learning or group activities rather than individual knowledge acquisition.
Limitations: Laboratories with formally or regularly scheduled classes are classified as a Class Laboratory (210). This category also does not include spaces defined as Research/Nonclass Laboratory (250). A space that contains equipment (e.g., microcomputers), which does not restrict use to a specific discipline or discipline group and which is typically used at a student’s convenience, should be classified as a Study Room (410).