COWLES HALL HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
Technology Enhanced Active Learning Classrooms
Information Technology staff met with Nurse Education faculty and audio visual specialists to plan, design, and implement technology enhanced active learning classrooms in the new Cowles Health Sciences Center.
The group's goal was to design multi-purpose classrooms that would meet the needs of rigorous in-class assessment, collaborative learning, and independent study. The solution was to implement a modified version of classrooms designed for student centered activities used at institutions such as Yale University and North Carolina State.
In the two classrooms, Cowles 202 and 206, 8-foot-diameter round tables were installed, each equipped with six small-form factor PC's and compact monitors. All cables were routed through an interior conduit in the middle of the table, thus avoiding clutter and providing clear vision across the table.
Whiteboard surfaces are designed for writing with marker pens and for projection. Instructors use the interactive writing and drawing tools to annotate projected slides, which can be saved and shared with students. Students in groups can write on the extended whiteboards using colored whiteboard markers.
Keyboards and monitors can be easily be pushed back for note taking and active participation in discussions. Or they can be pulled to each chair providing students an computerized environment for learning online individually or in groups. In addition, instructors can have students take secure online exams to assess their progress in the course and prepare for standardized testing.
Fully equipped classrooms such as Cowles 202 and Cowles 206 (shown below) are spacious and effectively designed to accommodate large groups of students working in a collaborative environment that promotes active and student-centered learning.
In the two classrooms, Cowles Room 202 and Room 206, 8-foot-diameter round tables were installed, each equipped with six small-form factor PC's and compact monitors. All cables were routed through an interior conduit in the middle of the table, thus avoiding clutter and providing clear vision across the table.
NATHENSON COMPUTER CENTER
Information Technology Help Desk
The Nathenson Computer Center, located on the terrace level of the Gannett-Tripp Library, is an open, spacious facility that is beautifully designed with Statesman oak and carpeting throughout. An octagon Information Technology Help Desk greets people as they walk down the winding stairs and through a lobby showcased with paintings and sculptures.
Open Lab for students
The uniquely designed Open Lab to the left of the Information Technology Help Desk provides students an area where they can quickly check e-mail, browse the Web, chat online, work in small groups, and plug in personal laptops. All furniture in the Open Lab is made of oak covered with violine laminate.
Entrance to the Labs
A corridor to the right of the Information Technology Help Desk provides entrance to three large computer labs designed to accommodate different styles of learning. There are two Windows labs and one Macintosh lab, which are regularly updated with new computers as part of the College's technology plan.
Plenty of workspace
Nearly all tables in the labs are five feet long, providing plenty of workspace for students working individually or in groups of two or three.
In addition to the Nathenson Computer Center labs, there are two classrooms and a lecture hall on the terrace level. Custom-designed lecterns equipped with multimedia computers connected to high-resolution projectors are installed in each of the labs and classrooms, providing students and faculty an easy-to-use computer resource for instruction and presentations.
Multimedia Resource Lab
Across the corridor and behind the Information Technology Help Desk is the Multimedia Resource Lab, which is equipped with special hardware and software. Students, faculty, and staff have resources at their fingertips to convert and manipulate media such as photographs, slides, music, and video for use with PowerPoint presentations and Web pages.