Information for Instructors

Note: The below is general guidance and does not reflect our modified IDeATe operations during the COVID-19 safety measures.

Classroom access: Instructors have CMU ID access to all IDeATe classrooms in which they teach. If you have problems accessing your classroom or need access to additional rooms, please email

Teaching assistants: If you plan to hire your TAs through IDeATe, we prefer that you let us know in the semester prior to your class so we can help with the proper hiring steps. If you have a TA arranged through another department, we would appreciate it if you would send the names and Andrew IDs of your TAs to before classes start, so we can give them access to the appropriate rooms as well as borrowing privileges at IDeATe Lending.

Lending access for instructors: All instructors who teach IDeATe courses can borrow items from IDeATe Lending. Hours are posted at We ask that you check items out through the lending system and not just walk out of Lending with them; otherwise, we may inadvertently report the items as stolen. Please be sure that your returned items are checked in and not just left outside the door to Lending. If Lending is closed, email, explain the circumstances, and return the item when Lending reopens. If you know in advance that you will need an extended loan period on a particular item, please send email to so we can make arrangements.

Lending equipment and course reserves: If you have specialized equipment to be used exclusively by the students in your class, you can request the items be put in the course reserve section in Lending. These items will be loaned only to students on your course roster. It can take us several days to get items properly tagged and entered into the Lending system, so please work with in advance so we can have the items ready in time for your students.

Course budgets: If you have a course budget and plan to purchase items, pay honoraria, or set up a Lending account through IDeATe, email so we can get the accounts set up for you.

Specialized training: If you expect your students to use equipment such as the laser cutters, 3D printers, Arduinos, etc. and are not planning to provide the necessary training during class time, please send email to so that we can ensure your students get the training they need. Some training is available through IDeATe micro courses.

Laser cutter access: If your students need access to the laser cutters, please review the latest IDeATe laser cutter policies, and send an email to so we can ensure your students have access to the room. Effective 20 May 2019, we no longer provide provisional access to students who have not yet completed all training requirements. Please communicate this to your students upfront so they have time to complete these requirements before they will need the laser cutter, and emphasize to them the importance of always adhering to the “buddy” system. To qualify for laser cutter login privileges, IDeATe students must successfully complete:

Students who have not completed all training requirements will not be granted login access to the laser cutters, and are encouraged to make use of IDeATe’s Open Fabrication Hours instead.

Laptops and software: As of Fall 2020, IDeATe Lending has Dell Inspiron PC laptops running Windows 10 Enterprise 1909 and MacBook Pro laptops running macOS 10.14 (Mojave). For the latest details and a list of software, check Each spring, IDeATe solicits requests for new software to be installed over the summer. Due to budget limitations, we cannot honor all software requests. To reserve computers for use in your class in Hunt or to request additional software, send email to When not in use for classes, laptops are available for same-day and overnight use from IDeATe Lending.

Help: Please email with requests and problems rather than sending a personal email to one of the staff, so that we can respond effectively even when team members are away or busy. If you do send a personal email, we will generally convert it into a help ticket anyway, so please save everyone some time and just send the email to

IDeATe orientation: If you would like your students to have an overview of IDeATe minors, courses, facilities, and policies, email to arrange for Kelly Delaney to come to your classroom.

Text to include in your IDeATe syllabus

If you are teaching a portal course, you should include your version of the common learning goals in your syllabus. Variations on these learning goals may be suitable for upper level classes as well. The Vice Provost for Education has requested that all course syllabi be available to students during registration and that all syllabi include student-oriented learning goals.

IDeATe Common Learning Goals

  • Demonstrate an appreciation for and ability to participate in critique of one’s own work and the work of others
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of reflection in learning and designing (begin to become a reflective practitioner)
  • Demonstrate an ability to articulate the story (visually, orally, verbally, aurally …) of one’s own work and one’s own learning
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history, cultural context and social implications of X
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Demonstrate technical and creative skills in X

…where X is the technical topic of your course.

Information about IDeATe

Facilities: Most IDeATe facilities are located in Hunt Library. Lending, Physical Computing Lab, Media Lab, the laser cutters, 3D printers, and wood shop are on the lower level. Some of the equipment requires special training which you will receive either in the class that requires it or in a micro course. If you are unsure of how to operate any of the equipment or are unsure how to use the equipment safely and effectively, please send email to

Safety: Report all fires and emergencies immediately to University Police at 412-268-2323.

  • Emergency response: University Police412-268-2323
  • Building maintenance: Facilities Management & Campus Services — 412-268-2910
  • IDeATe-related inquiries —

IDeATe Lending: Once you are enrolled in an IDeATe course, you will have access to IDeATe Lending. You will maintain your access through the rest of your time at Carnegie Mellon. You must present your CMU ID each time you borrow an item. You will also be able to purchase a limited number of consumable items (such as plywood and acrylic) for projects. Please visit for more detailed information on available resources, to review the IDeATe Lending Borrower Policy, and to find hours of operation.

Classroom and Lending access: If you are enrolled in an IDeATe class at least a week before the start of the course, you will have access to IDeATe Lending and (if applicable) have keycard access to the classroom door on the first day of class. If you add a course during the Add Period, you may need to wait a few business days to receive access while the lists are updated. If you add a course after the last day of the Add Period, email with your name, Andrew ID, and course number so we can add you to our systems.

Laser cutter access: Please review the latest IDeATe laser cutter policies at To qualify for laser cutter login privileges, IDeATe students must successfully complete:

Until you have completed all training requirements, you will not be permitted to login to the laser cutters and must make use of IDeATe’s Open Fabrication Hours instead. Please plan ahead by signing up early for required classes, in order to ensure that you complete all training requirements BEFORE you will need the laser cutter.

IDeATe advising: If you have questions or need advice about IDeATe minors or courses, please get in touch with Kelly Delaney, the Assistant Director of IDeATe. Her office is in Hunt A9A and her email is

Information about IDeATe for your students

You may want to distribute this additional information to your students if you teach an entry-level IDeATe course. Also, you can email to arrange for Kelly to come to your classroom early in the semester to give the students an overview of IDeATe, welcome them to the community, and answer any questions they might have.

IDeATe, the Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology network at Carnegie Mellon, offers undergraduate minors and courses in Game Design, Animation & Special Effects, Media Design, Sonic Arts, Design for Learning, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Intelligent Environments, and Physical Computing. These areas merge technology and creativity and provide learning opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. IDeATe minors and courses are open to all majors. We welcome students from every discipline to the unique learning environment that exists at Carnegie Mellon.

IDeATe offers several types of courses:

  • Portal courses serve as prerequisite, cross-training courses for interdisciplinary work, enabling you to understand the disciplinary competencies and perspectives of the students you will be collaborating with through a design inquiry process.
  • Collaborative courses are project-based courses that IDeATe has developed within departments. They focus on creating together in emerging, complex, and unstructured problem-solving domains and are structured to accommodate students from any discipline who have passed the portal courses.
  • Supportive courses are departmental courses that existed prior to IDeATe. They have these collaborative elements and are options for your IDeATe work. Please note that the supportive courses tend to have other prerequisites and may have registration restrictions.
  • Micro courses are short but intensive skills-based experiences that give you a basic understanding of some of the techniques and equipment used in many IDeATe courses.

IDeATe is not its own department. Rather, Carnegie Mellon’s departments contribute faculty and courses to the IDeATe curriculum. Therefore, IDeATe does not have its own course number prefix. You can find the IDeATe course offerings for the upcoming semester by going to the Courses section of

If you have questions or need advice about IDeATe minors or courses, please get in touch with Kelly Delaney, the Assistant Director of IDeATe. Her office is in Hunt A9A and her email is