Written by Megan Reed
Faculty can now reserve the interactive learning space in room 251 of Alden Library for their own teaching.
The room, which was renovated last year and had previously only been available for the Libraries’ instruction, seats 42 students and has six tables, each with a television monitor where students can project from the screens on their laptops or smartphones. Instructors can also use two monitors at the front of the room to share an individual or group’s work with the entire class.
Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services, said opening the room to faculty fits with the Libraries’ mission of sharing its resources with the OHIO community.
“We’ve had requests from faculty and staff to be able to try the technology with their own classes. We also have a history here in the Library of making our computing facilities and instruction rooms available when we’re not using them for Library instruction,” she said. “We like to keep in the spirit of that.”
Broughton said the lab gives faculty more freedom to use a variety of teaching styles in the same space and that is modeled on other popular active learning classrooms.
“It’s also really flexible in that the chairs can be moved around…if you wanted to sit in a circle in the back and then have everyone break out into groups, then have it lecture style for a little while, then move into breakouts, you can do that too,” she said.
The space facilitates group work and encourages students to work together.
“We hope that the individual media stations that accommodate about six students each with their own displays can be incorporated into active learning in class activities. It will let students work in groups, share materials in small groups and then [share their work] again with the entire class,” Broughton said. “The faculty member can pick what any one of these individual groups may be displaying and pull that information up and display it for the rest of the room to see.” The technology in the room also includes an audio system with special speakers for people with special hearing needs.
To reserve the space, faculty can fill out a request form. If they have never used the room before, they will be given instructions on how to utilize the technology for their teaching. It is also suggested that they meet in person with a librarian who can demonstrate how to use the space and answer any questions faculty may have.
During daytime hours, room 251 will be a teaching space, but the lab will be available to students in the evening hours, when there is an increased need for student study space, so they will still be able to take advantage of the interactive lab for their own studies and group work.