Teaching an old classroom new tricks

The College of Business Administration is addressing the need for new technologies with the construction of ‘The Classroom of the Future.’ Assistant Dean for Information Technology Services Dr. Inge Klopping was one of the administrators to push for the new and improved classrooms, which will be structured to enhance group work through spread-out seating.’ ‘ ‘ Five years ago, Klopping and other administrators saw a need for enhancing the classroom experience by bringing in new technology. ‘The Classroom of the Future’ was finally put into action this past August, when the University started the planning process for the renovation. Construction started in January, with hopes of having the project completed in time for the summer session. ‘We do a lot of things with teams and groups, and that kind of cluster activity, so this will facilitate our ability to do that,’ Klopping said. ‘It will give people more control over their work.’ Four different projector screens will also be situated in the classrooms, so students will be able to view the material from all different angles. Whiteboards will also be placed all along the back wall, providing space for groups to gather ideas. ‘The room is quite versatile; you can do cluster group work or you can do theater style,’ Klopping said. ‘We’re excited about the flexibility and that it’s going with the curriculum and the integration to allow students to take control of their learning, to allow them to work as a group and there is a lot of technology that they can do outside of class.’ The CBA has been working with State Legislature for several years, trying to obtain a grant to fund the project. Bob Waddle, the assistant vice president for Capital Planning, summed up the total cost of the project as $405,000. ‘Well, $285,000 of it was state funding, then $120,000 of it was university funding,’ Waddle said. Waddle has been a part of the process since the beginning. ‘Its been something that’s certainly been in the works quite awhile,’ Waddle said. However, not everyone is excited about the new project, or the money the University is putting towards the new classrooms. BGSU Senior Scott Buchman, a Business Administration major, does not see the need for the renovation. ‘I feel like I can effectively work in groups without all of this new stuff,’ Buchman said. ‘Would it be nice? Yeah, but is that where I think the University should be putting our money? No, not until they take care of other problems first.’