Classroom Enhancement Initiative will see extensive technological and interior improvements in 99 classrooms

Comfortable couches and cafe tables replacing awkward desks. Wireless presentation stages on-par with TED talks. Mobile chairs and tables that students can arrange however they see fit. These are just a few of the many benefits students are set to enjoy as SDSU continues its Classroom Enhancement Initiative—a five-year project that aims to give 99 classrooms an extreme functional and technological makeover.

The project will move SDSU away from the “one-size-fits-all” learning model and create a variety of flexible, adaptable work environments that are custom-designed to accommodate the changing technological needs of students and teachers.

“Our goal is to preserve the rich architectural history of the SDSU campus, while bringing its technology and furnishings to the forefront of modern education,” Provost Laurie Nichols said. “The result will be a versatile, world-class learning environment built on a historical foundation of academic excellence.”

With 19 classroom redesigns scheduled for the 2014-2015 academic year, the university hopes to complete an additional 80 renovations between 2015 and 2018, but students are already enjoying the results.

“The difference between the old and new classrooms is unbelievable,” said Daniel Stanton, a computer science graduate student. “The new furniture and technology makes it feel like you’re learning on the job as opposed to sitting in a class.”

In bringing the project together, SDSU designers, leaders and engineers teamed to create five new dynamic learning environments:
1) collaborative,
2) active learning,
3) lecture mobile,
4) seminar, and
5) lecture fixed.

“In the journalism department, we needed a classroom where students could brainstorm as if they were in an advertising agency,” said Mary Arnold, who heads the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. “The new collaborative classroom in 210 Yeager Hall will provide us with just that.”

John Green

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