A view of three classrooms, with different furniture styles, in WALC.

The Wilmeth Active Learning Center's 27 active learning classrooms are equipped with different styles of desks and tables to accommodate different learning objectives.

Open houses showcase Wilmeth's active learning spaces

For Professor Jennifer Dobbs-Oates probably the most exciting thing about teaching in the new Wilmeth Active Learning Center is the impressive flexibility of the space.

“The resources that are going to be available for instruction are incredible,” says Dobbs-Oates, “and that’s going to allow for a lot of innovation and different ways of teaching.”

With 27 active learning classrooms, multiple collaboration and study spaces, and the Library of Engineering and Science, the Wilmeth Active Learning Center is unlike any other building on campus. Students will have 24-hour access to study spaces and a variety of classrooms – some with moveable desks, others with large tables – that offer instructors an array of options for how they want their classroom to operate.

To help instructors prepare for teaching in Wilmeth this fall, and to give other faculty a glimpse of the building’s available features, a week-long series of open house-style, drop-in sessions are being conducted by staff from Purdue Libraries, the Center for Instructional Excellence and ITaP’s Teaching and Learning Technologies team.

The drop-in trainings, to be held multiple times a day from Monday, Aug. 14 through Friday, Aug. 18, will introduce faculty to the active learning classrooms and allow instructors to speak with teaching and learning specialists and to become accustomed to the rooms’ features prior to the start of classes. Visitors will also have a chance to walk around the building, visit classrooms and libraries and learn about the building’s other resources, like student-accessible wide-format printers and a data-visualization lab.

The sessions are scheduled throughout the day and will highlight unique aspects of a room’s design. Registration is suggested but not required. Faculty interested in learning about a particular room should consult the training schedule to find when sessions will be conducted.

Besides showcasing the designs of the rooms, the drop-in trainings will highlight new technology inside of Wilmeth classrooms.

“I think the thing instructors will be most excited about is the ability to do wireless presentation in all of the classrooms,” says Joe Conte, manager of consulting and training for ITaP Teaching and Learning Technologies. “It’s something people have been asking for.”

Using a new technology called the Solstice Pod, faculty will be able to connect any device – phone, laptop, tablet – wirelessly to the classroom screens, allowing freedom of movement throughout the classroom. The technology can also be used for students to share content from their mobile screens to classroom’s big screen.

“This building was really designed with the things instructors have been asking for,” says Dobbs-Oates. “Like a lot of faculty I’m excited to get inside and see what it’s like.”

Interested in learning more about teaching in WALC, but unable to attend an open-house training? Contact tlt@purdue.edu to set up a one-on-one consultation.

Writer: Dave Stephens, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue, 765-496-7998, steph103@purdue.edu

Last updated: August 3, 2017

A view of two common spaces in WALC; a collaboration space with tables and a computer lab.

A view of one of Wilmeth's open student spaces (left) and a computer collaboration space (right).

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