Monday, October 29, 2012
Huntsman Hall Will Implement Ideas That Have Been Tested in the Classroom
While much of the learning at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business occurs outside the classroom, we've been working hard to ensure that our new classrooms in the Huntsman Hall will optimize our students’ educational experience. I’d like to share some ideas about the technology we plan to include in the new building.
In an earlier blog I wrote about an experimental classroom that was set up in room 318 of the George S. Eccles Business Building. This room allowed us to test out a number of teaching tools to see which ones we’d want to make a part of our Huntsman Hall classrooms.
Room 318 has four projectors that allow us to project images on three of the four walls of the classroom. We have learned that while we often use two of the walls, we rarely use all three. It was rare that we used two walls at the same time but we found that we might reconfigure the classroom by moving chairs and tables to use a side wall or the front wall.
In our new flat classrooms, the projectors will allow us to project on two different walls. In the tiered classroom, we’ll also have two projectors but they will both point forward so that one could project on half of the white board while the other half could be used to write on. We’ll also be able to use two projectors on the white board at the front of the room in the tiered classrooms to make for a larger single image.
Our professors have also discovered that movable white boards offer them a lot of teaching flexibility and more writing space, so we have decided that each classroom will have white boards that can slide back and forth or up and down.
There are still details to be worked out when it comes to the podium but, based on some good faculty input, we know that we do not want a podium that is part of a large desk in the middle of the classroom. We plan to move the technology controls from the front of the classroom to some place that will be out of the way so as not to block anything the professor is doing. We will use Wi-Fi to control things as much as possible.
It’s interesting to see how much needs to be conceptualized and planned before it all takes its physical form. It’s like that in the classroom too. There, we poke at the theories, envision the solutions, and experiment with new approaches as we prepare to go out and test our ideas in a global marketplace where the classroom never stops changing.