Video “Teaching with Technology: The possibilities of learning” produced by Princeton University Office of Communications, Spring 2017. Full feature story.

A McGraw Space for Teaching with Technology

The Digital Learning Lab (DLL), part of Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, is a technology-rich teaching space in the Lewis Science Library building.

Featuring 12 student specialists and three full-time staff members with years of experience working with digital media and academic technology, the DLL provides a flexible space for interdisciplinary dialogues around digital pedagogy, or teaching and learning with technology. As a McGraw Center classroom committed to effective teaching and successful learning with multimedia tools and workflows, the DLL actively supports courses with unconventional formats, innovative course assignments, and/or co-curricular digital learning components.

The DLL space is configured with 15 computers optimized for multimedia projects. Each machine features a curated slate of software tools for multimedia projects such as audio and video editing, graphic design, data visualization, 3-D modeling, and website development. The DLL also has an audio recording booth for voiceover narration and music production.

Although technology is critical to multimedia work, the DLL is distinguished on campus for its focus on teaching and learning.

Faculty from history, political science, anthropology, linguistics, American studies, ecology and evolutionary biology, engineering, Spanish, urban studies, and more have integrated the DLL’s resources into their courses. By partnering with faculty to design learning experiences, and providing a space to experiment, the Digital Learning Lab helps students build a variety of skillsets, from audio editing and video production to storytelling, visualization, websites, databases, and public speaking/exhibition.

Support is also a key strength of the McGraw DLL.  Students work in the DLL not only because the space is optimized for multimedia projects but also because help is available via one-on-one consultations, workshops, and a resident community of peer educators. Student staff, or DLL Specialists, develop instructional materials and help their peers develop hands-on creative skills needed for their classes, research or careers beyond Princeton.

The DLL also seeks out collaborations to build instructional opportunities, such as the fall ’16 and spring ’17 design workshop series for undergraduates taught by graduate students from the School of Architecture. and the fall ’18 collaboration with the Student Design Agency. As a result of our partnership with Julian Street Library in Wilson College, students can work interchangeably in both places.

McGraw staff Dan Claro helps a student with a multimedia question.

A Place to Teach, and Learn


The DLL is a great space for courses that are working with multimedia tools. Course-partnerships can include training by DLL Staff (and guests) around multimedia tools needed for specific class projects.  We also build custom tools that facilitate various approaches to online collaboration. Following these sessions, students continue working on their projects at the DLL until Dean’s Date.

Recent courses:

  • Kathleen McCleery, JRN 447 “Politics and the Media – Covering the 2018 Elections” (Fall 2018)
  • Martha Sandweiss, Freshman Seminar “Princeton and Slavery” (Fall 2016) – website
  • Alison Isenberg and Purcell Carson, URB 202: “Documentary Film and the City” (Fall 2016, 2017, 2018) – website
  • Catalina Méndez Vallejo, SPA 211: “Varieties of Spanish” (Spring 2017, 2018) – website
  • Pedro Meira Monteiro and Charlie Hankin, PORS 304/LAS 311 “Topics in Brazilian Culture and Social History: Sound and Sense” (Fall 2017)
  • Carolyn Ureña, WRI 163 & 164 “Contagion” (Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, Fall 2018) – website
  • Jeff Himpele, ANT 454 “Transcultural Cinema” (Spring 2017 and Spring 2018); ANT 455 “Visible Evidence: Documentary and Data” (Fall 2018)
  • Byron Ahn, LIN 235 “Mythbusting Language” (Spring 2018)
  • Tala Khanmalek, AMS 301/ENG 432 / GSS 338 / ASA 301 “Science Fiction and Fact” (Spring 2018)

Learn more about teaching in the DLL


McGraw DLL also offers instructional workshops each semester, with both graduate student and undergraduate instructors.

In 2016-17, McGraw DLL collaborated with the School of Architecture to offer a workshop series focused on software training, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, AutoCAD, and Rhino.  Graduate students from the School of Architecture led 11 out of 12 workshops.

The fall ’17 and spring ’18 multimedia workshop series engages the question “How do I do that?” by examining the workflows and creative processes underpinning creative projects such as posters, podcasts, or videos.  Teaching most of these sessions are student staff, or DLL Specialists, who will draw from their rich and varied experiences recording and editing audio, designing posters, making web apps, and crafting film projects.

For more information, visit our Workshops page.

Students working during a training session.

A Place to Work

When there are no classes or workshops in session, McGraw DLL is a workspace available to all members of the Princeton University community. With 22 Apple computers optimized for multimedia projects, two audio rooms, a collaboration space, and a staff of multimedia enthusiasts nearby, students and faculty can sit down, plug in headphones, and get productive.

Need help with your project?  Visit our “How do I do that” page for tips and resources.  If you don’t see an answer to your question, ask us!

Or, you can stop by.  The DLL is staffed by a knowledgeable, experienced group of multimedia enthusiasts – DLL Specialists – who can provide an introduction, answer advanced questions, or point you to helpful resources to explore.  Feel free to contact a specialist directly to schedule a consultation.