Syracuse University is a 2018 recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence grant, supporting diversity and inclusion in science education. The five-year, $1 million grant will fund the University’s Collaborative High-Impact Activities in Natural Science Education (CHANcE)…
Preview the New Collaborative Classroom
The College of Engineering and Computer Science will open a state-of-the-art collaborative classroom this month. Students will work with peers and instructors to explore their class material in ways that aren’t possible in traditional classrooms. In this new space, instructors will design classroom activities to foster team-based learning—allowing students to engage with the subject matter and each other on a new level.
Once faculty and students have had a chance to teach and learn in the classroom, they may uncover additional ways this new space could be used to augment the collaborative experience. To start, here are the features the room will offer when it opens for the spring semester.
Instead of walking to the front of the class to write on the chalkboard, student teams can scrawl their work on small whiteboards that hang from racks on the walls and from the side of their the tables, then move them around the room.
10 LED Monitors
Monitors are connected to a teaching station where instructors are able to control what appears on them. Professors can share the same or different information on the screens. Students are also able to plug laptops into them to display their work.
By default, the tables and chairs are arranged in six-person groups to foster collaboration and discussion, but they can easily be reconfigured for many purposes to foster different interactions.
“In engineering education in particular, we really want to train our students to be problem-solvers, and working on real-world problems is an important aspect of their education. That kind of work is best done in a collaborative setting, “ says Julie Hasenwinkel, associate dean for undergraduate programs and student affairs. “No one in the professional world works in a vacuum. It requires teamwork to solve complex problems. Having a classroom where we can create that kind of environment will benefit students because it mimics the way they will eventually practice engineering, but adds the support of an instructor who can facilitate their learning and give them feedback in real time.”
Funding for the collaborative classroom comes from three key sources—a generous gift from alumnus Avi M. Nash, G’77, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which includes gifts from individual donors to the Dean’s Fund, and Syracuse University.
The classroom is located in Link Hall, in the space that was formerly 369/371.