With the start of a new school year just around the corner, Centre College’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Information Technology Services (ITS) departments are proud to unveil a new experimental classroom located in Young Hall 110. An open house for the new classroom will be held on Aug. 18, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The experimental classroom is equipped with multi-point display options, wireless presentation, an iPad teaching option and various interactive and experimental technologies.
“The room will be an interactive teaching space during class hours and open for faculty, staff and students use after hours with swipe card access once they have passed the required training course for the room,” said Kristi Burch, academic technology specialist for the CTL (pictured above).
One of the objectives of the classroom is for students to creatively engage with technology and create collaborative group projects, presentations or interactive demonstrations.
“The goal is to have faculty, staff and students use the space, experiment and play with the technology, see what works, what doesn’t, learn and grow, produce cool stuff and give us feedback,” Burch explained.
“Feedback is very important so we know what to change or to keep the same,” she continued. “This will also help CTL and ITS work together in the future to make decisions about other classroom spaces on Centre’s campus when determining technological, pedagogical and spatial needs.”
Burch explained how the overall idea for the classroom is to create a collaborative and creative space for faculty and students to explore different technological and teaching and learning techniques.
“Through the use of advanced technology and a flexible, collaborative learning environment, we anticipate our faculty and students will explore and create new methods of teaching and learning that inspire others,” she said.
The idea for the space originated from the College’s strategic plan that started in the fall of 2014.
“Initial planning began through the collaborative efforts of the Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group, comprised of members from CTL, ITS, Academic Affairs, Facilities, the Registrar and Finance,” she explained. “The Ad-Hoc Task force on Technology, through their research on other schools’ usage of technology and space, provided input toward our final decision-making for this space.”
CTL and ITS worked collaboratively to design and implement the classroom, while seeking out and installing the resources and technology needed. Both departments researched ways to enhance teaching, learning and creative exploration.
Once the classroom is available to faculty, staff and students, CTL will evaluate the experiences they have in the space while teaching, learning and creating.
“We will also work with faculty to find additional experimental technologies to place in the room each year to keep this space dynamic and experimental—to see what works and what doesn’t for teaching and learning,” Burch explained.
Those who want to use the experimental classroom must first participate in an in-person or Moodle-based training provided by the CTL.
Once implemented, ITS will maintain the audio/video equipment and will continue to work with CTL to evaluate future technology requests and needs.
“We want to continue to ensure Centre’s learning environments have the best and latest technology to promote the best and brightest student scholars and innovative faculty,” she concluded.
by Kerry Steinhofer
August 14, 2017