Committee seeks input for better classrooms

by | Jan 24, 2014 | Biz/Tech

Marlon Gomez
Biz/Tech Reporter

Students and faculty at Humber College voiced their concerns at recent town hall meetings, hoping to initiate changes to classroom designs.

The meetings began Nov. 27 and ran at both campuses, the most recent one taking place on Jan. 21.

“I’ve never seen collaborations as we are seeing now with these types of town halls where we are incorporating the expectations of every stake holder. Bringing students, faculty and administration to discuss things is the best way to do this,” said Guillermo Acosta, dean of Media Studies and Information Technology.

Eileen DeCourcy, the vice president for teaching and learning at Humber, has led the meetings.

DeCourcy said Humber is hoping to create a physical environment that supports the knowledge and skills that are being taught in classrooms. She said context, content and andragogy, the art and science of teaching adults, are the three key elements being implemented into the designs.

“Every room will be assessed differently depending on what is being taught. Not every room needs to be high-tech and that’s where content and context help to make those decisions,” said DeCourcy.

“Humber wants to embrace change and move away from traditional classrooms with podiums and desks at the front where teachers find themselves speaking most of the time,” she said.

Vincent Silveira, a business professor at Humber North and Sheridan College, explained how some of the Sheridan classrooms he teaches in is very innovative.

“Tables in those classrooms are shaped like cloverleaves with the intent of making it easier for students to move around and work together,” he said.

Future Humber classroom designs will comply with the Ontario Disabilities Act, ensuring access to students with disabilities.

“Humber is currently experimenting with technology made by the American firm Crestron Electronics,” said DeCourcy. This technology would allow students to project whatever is on their screens and discuss it.

Students interested in joining the committee and having input into Humber’s classroom redesign should contact Eileen DeCourcy or Scott Briggs.