March 16, 2006 05:00 ET

University of Luton Opens Unique Learning and Research Environment Featuring FacilitatePro™ Online Collaboration Software

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2006 -- High tech combines with soft touch at the University of Luton's new Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) opening today. This unique environment includes a Social Space for networking and small group discussion, a Creative Space with writeable whitewalls and computers running FacilitatePro™ online collaboration software (, and a formal meeting area.

"The Creative Space is designed to free teachers and learners from the constraints of the traditional classroom," explained Rajini Pani, CETL Manager. "It enables us to move away from the classic, didactic 'chalk'n talk' style of teaching to a more facilitative approach." Within the Creative Space, teachers use computers with FacilitatePro™ brainstorming and problem-solving software to pose questions that challenge student thinking. Students type in their ideas which are posted on FacilitatePro™'s electronic flip chart for the entire group to build upon. "Combining individual input and shared output allows all students to express themselves and engages the group in collective reflection and debate," said Pani.

One of seventy-four CETLs funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to promote excellence in all aspects of teaching and learning in higher education, the Luton CETL supports a distinctive undergraduate curriculum that integrates academic and personal development with transferable career management skills. "We are excited about the possibilities for combining teaching and research with outreach to local businesses and communities," said Mark Atlay, Director of the University of Luton CETL. "This environment is particularly suited to our diverse population of local and overseas students. The anonymous brainstorming software and white walls to draw on will help bridge cultural and language barriers and build a strong learning community."

University of Luton joins several other U.K. higher education institutions using FacilitatePro™ collaboration software in their Innovation Labs, facilities that provide communities and businesses with 'free thinking' space and interactive computer technology to support the development of creative thinking skills.

For more information about the University of Luton Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, visit or contact Rajini Pani at

About specializes in collaboration software and techniques to enhance innovation and group productivity. FacilitatePro™ helps generate and formalize ideas with tools for brainstorming, categorizing and prioritizing, surveying and action planning. Visit or call 800-423-8890 or 1-805-682-6939.

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