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The Future of Instruction and Learning
Can be Found Inside Renovated Young Hall
RADFORD Radford University opened doors to its newly renovated Young Hall, a learning facility that ranks among the top five most digitally advanced academic buildings in the United States, according to officials with Crestron, the primary technology contractor for the building.
The RU community celebrated the completion of the $6.5 million renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony following President Penelope W. Kyle’s address at the annual fall convocation.
Young Hall is fully equipped with technologically-sophisticated classrooms that will establish the facility as RU’s flagship classroom building.
The 20 classrooms in Young -- most of which have a capacity of 30 or fewer students -- offer innovative spaces that have been designed to provide opportunities for instructors to engage students in a wide variety of active and collaborative learning activities.
(IN THE PHOTO: President Kyle cuts the ribbon to open Young Hall Thursday, as Provost Wil Stanton, from left, Roy Saville, Marc Jones of The Whitlock Group and Christina Peterson of Creston look on.)
Among the classrooms are two large learning rooms that measure 54-feet long and 24-feet wide. Both feature two 123-inch video screens. All Young Hall classrooms are equipped with digital video screens, control pads and projectors. One unique feature allows professors and students to control classroom media with an iPhone or iPod Touch application.
The technology design and implementation was provided by RU staff, led by Randy McCallister from Technology Support Services within the Division of Information Technology.
“Those who enter the building will discover that the facility has been transformed into a truly remarkable teaching and learning environment,” said RU Provost Wil Stanton.
The reopening of Young coincides with the genesis of the new Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL).
The center, located in Walker Hall, is set to provide a wide variety of faculty development and training programs to promote innovation, collaboration, community and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Under the direction of Krista Terry, the CITL will provide workshops, learning communities, consultations and other events designed to encourage the exploration of topics related to innovation in instruction, scholarship and engagement. The center hosted New Faculty Orientation and the New Faculty Institute and will provide the instructional design, technology training and special projects support previously provided by the Technology in Learning Center.
The new CITL includes an iLab, which will be used as a training, research and exploration classroom to help faculty best investigate the pedagogical possibilities for teaching in the new Young Hall classrooms.
The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning will work closely with faculty, particularly those who will be teaching in Young in upcoming semesters, to provide both an orientation to the pedagogical possibilities and training on how to use the technology.
The classrooms in Young combine state-of-the-art electronics, which provide many options for accessing and displaying digital resources, with non-traditional furnishings that are focused on grouping students around tables to maximize student-faculty collaboration and group work possibilities.
Young Hall classrooms include:
• Non-traditional seating arrangements designed to facilitate collaborative learning and group work;
• Multiple projection options, including a latest generation Smartboard interactive display and two high-definition digital monitors;
• Portable whiteboards that allow for student work and the ability to capture the resultant work with a digital image;
• A mobile podium, which allows the classroom instructor to move fluidly throughout the room while connected wirelessly to a projection system; and
• A touch-screen control panel to easily switch between the multiple display options.
Young Hall’s innovative classrooms and the CITL fall within a vision outlined in the university’s strategic plan, 7-17, Forging a Bold New Future, to provide and support learning spaces to enhance teaching capabilities and e-learning technologies that integrate with the teaching and learning process.
“Young Hall will be one of the most innovative and technologically-sophisticated classroom buildings in the United States, and the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning will assist faculty in their efforts to facilitate student learning, both in Young and in other locations,” Stanton said.
August 27, 2009