Innovative Classrooms Inaugural Semester Fall 2014


In Spring 2014, the FacIT Committee launched an Innovative Classrooms Initiative that is a collaboration between the FacIT Committee, the Classroom Committee, IT Services and the Board of Trustees Technology Committee. As the campus embarks on another campus master planning process, the committees named above are seeking to facilitate opportunities on how we may upgrade existing campus spaces with both furnishing and technology to further enhance the face-to-face student learning experience that our community values deeply.

Following its call for proposals in Spring 2014, FacIT determined that two proposals could be partially funded, awarding grants to upgrade two existing spaces on campus. The outcome was an exciting opportunity to greatly enhance resources and use of the former PeopleSoft Learning Center (PLC) and the Fisher Center. In addition to physical and technical upgrades to the spaces, Digital Learning Consultants have partnered with faculty to provide ongoing support throughout the semester.

"Innovative Teaching & Technology Studio" (former PLC)

This summer, as one of the awards for this initiative, in response to a proposal submitted by Profs. Lisa Patti and Leah Shafer, IT Services upgraded the PeopleSoft Learning Center to create a pedagogy "incubator" space for faculty to explore emerging digital tools, facilitate student presentation of work across multiple screens and leverage flexible classroom furnishings. By design, this exploratory classroom will change in configuration, technology, and physicality on a regular basis in order to facilitate opportunities for interested faculty to explore new pedagogical methods, technology and media integrations.


Fisher Center Conversion to "Smart Classroom"

This summer, as the second award for this initiative, IT Services coordinated with outgoing Fisher Center Director Prof. Cadence Whittier to convert the Fisher Center into a "smart classroom" to expand its capabilities and assign classes that fall within the scope of the mission of the Fisher Center. This initiative offers another model of retrofitting an older architectural space on campus that serves a dual role as a student activity and event environment. Profs. Donna Davenport, Michelle Martin-Baron, and Lezlie Frye have been tapped to teach classes in the Center this semester.

Innovative Classrooms Pilot Discussion Group

Faculty in this semester-long initiative have committed to participate in a monthly discussion group, offering reflections and feedback on their teaching experiences in these upgrade spaces with representatives from the FacIT and Classroom Comittees as well as the Center for Teaching and Learning. Participants and FacIT are scheduled to share insights related to teaching and learning spaces in the 21st Century with the Board of Trustees Technology Committee in October.


If you are interested in a tour of the Innovative Teaching & Technology Studio, please contact the Digital Learning Team at ext. 4420 or Juliet Boisselle, Director of Digital Learning. To learn more about the Fisher Center initiative, please contact Prof. Cadence Whittier, Director of the Fisher Center 2013-14. Prof. Charity Lofthouse, Chair of FacIT, is also a resource for further information on this initiative.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.