All events are in Central time unless specified.

Call for Faculty Feedback

Library Classroom Designs

Date: Time: 12:45 pm–1:45 pm
Virtual
Further to my report at this week’s faculty meeting, I am writing to request faculty feedback regarding the two new classrooms that will be built as a part of the library renovation project starting this spring. At the link below, you will find two separate sets of furniture options (Layout 1 and Layout 2) that the Quinn Evans design team is proposing in consultation with various members of the building committee, students, and administrators. These designs were prepared for discussion purposes only – neither represents a final version.

Classroom Furniture Options: https://unl.box.com/s/72cuo38m966umgyrgvxsqlc5qukz2v84

You’ll see in these designs that each classroom takes a different approach. The larger classroom (44 students) is organized in a more traditional way that tracks our other classrooms, though lines of sight are implemented by way of furniture choices rather than through more permanent means (like tiered floors with stairs or ramps). The smaller classroom (40 students), on the other hand, is built to be flexible and would support a variety of pedagogical approaches, including breakout groups and other collaborative exercises using technology. These different approaches reflect our request that the faculty be provided with a variety of options to consider – it is not required that these rooms necessarily be furnished in different ways.

What we need from you is feedback about how these classrooms could be furnished to create pedagogical opportunities for you in your classes. In particular, we seek feedback about the types of capabilities and furniture arrangements that would support you in your teaching in ways that differ from the other classrooms in the building. Since we do not have frequent opportunities to build new classrooms, an important goal I have for these two classrooms is to create spaces that provide the faculty with a chance to utilize different pedagogical methods that are not currently supported in other parts of the building.

Please note that, in each classroom, the furniture is not bolted to the floor. It is therefore movable and, at least somewhat, flexible (though as the design document states, the expectation is that the arrangements in the larger classroom would typically remain fixed). Please note that the design team is well aware of the logistical challenges associated with non-fixed furniture. As the building committee has discussed new classrooms for several years, I also know that a number of you have had experiences in classrooms with non-fixed furniture that were not the most positive. Certainly, please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with me in this regard. However, I ask that you also consider how a more flexibly-furnished room could help you in your teaching, and share comments and ideas for improvement along those lines.

If you are interested in participating in a faculty discussion about these classrooms, I hope you can arrange to attend a meeting this Tuesday, January 26th, from 12:45-1:45pm (Zoom meeting below). Members of the Quinn Evans design team will be present to listen and to provide insights from their experiences designing modern classrooms in other projects. The entire team would benefit greatly from your feedback and ideas. If you are not available to attend but wish to participate, please review these materials and share with me your comments, questions, or concerns.

https://unl.zoom.us/j/92819680843

Because of the rigidity of the University approval process and aggressive timeframe to get this project started in May, the next 7-10 days is the window we have for meaningful faculty input on the classrooms. I appreciate your timely engagement with us on these issues.

Download this event to my calendar