Classroom Spotlight: Jepson G24

January 9, 2019
Take a look at a recently renovated active classroom

Every summer, the Classroom Committee updates classrooms across campus. This past summer, the committee took two learning spaces and combined them into one. Jepson G24A and G24B were merged into an all-new classroom, Jepson G24. It’s now an active learning classroom that supports a variety of lecture styles while also being flexible to facilitate group work.

When you walk into the classroom, you can immediately sense that it is a different kind of learning space compared to other classrooms on campus. While the front of the classroom has projection and a whiteboard, the side walls of the room are covered by 8’ high whiteboards. On each of these two walls there are three short-throw interactive projectors. Instructors can control all seven projectors, or they can allow the six short throw projectors to be used wirelessly by collaborating students.

Faculty using the classroom seem to prefer two seating configurations for the room. The first is to set all the student tables into a U shape around the perimeter of the classroom. This format leaves the center of the room open, and is ideal for lectures or full-class discussions. The second configuration is to turn the tables into six groups of two tables. Each table seats two students, so the four students can work together at each of the six table groups. This format facilitates student workgroups. The room is equipped with a laptop cart, so that each of the 24 students in the room can work on a computer as needed. Each of the students can wirelessly project to one of the six short-throw projectors, allowing multiple screens to be simultaneously shared as the students do their work.

The room, which was a collaboration between the Classroom Committee, Facilities, Information Services, and the Mathematics and Computer Science department faculty, has all-new carpeting and new lighting. In addition, there is a power grid in the ceiling, which allows for power to support any room configuration.

At the end of the Fall 2018 semester, the Classroom Committee surveyed faculty and students to see how effective the renovation had been. One faculty member commented, “A very positive experience. Welcome teaching environment, easy to set up the classroom, lots of flexibility, warm appearance. The technology was challenging at times, but again that's more about me than the classroom.” Another said, “I make frequent use of main projection throughout the room, frequent use of the expanse of whiteboard space (both during lecturing and for student breakout work), and occasional use of the ability for students to project individually via short-throw projectors. This classroom was a great place for me to teach.”