Gone are lectures from podiums. Through a $300,000 grant from the Richland County Foundation, planners at The Ohio State University at Mansfield will include a high-tech learning collaborative classroom in the Bromfield Library and Information Commons as part of the extensive renovations already underway. The classroom will enable instructors at Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College to encourage team-based learning and problem-solving from anywhere in the classroom.
“It’s not the library I went to in college,” said Brady Groves, president of the Richland County Foundation. “It is a truly different learning style—the collaboration, the team learning, the discussion. It’s nice to be able to be a part of advancing that type of learning style in Mansfield.”
Designed for community and campus, according to Susan Delagrange, director of the Information Commons, the collaborative space will serve as a flexible hands-on, experimental space.
“It’s experimental in the sense that we wanted to make it possible for people who are interested in trying new things to have a space to do that,” she said.
Delagrange envisions community workshops built for specific topics, like professional writing for businesses, technology-enhanced classes like digital storytelling and mini-documentaries for high school students, and research projects for historical associations and clubs. Friday-Saturday Boot camps could be developed for businesses who want to take a more intense look at a topic. “That you could create this learning collaborative that really represents the new learning style both for students and for the community, especially the business community, just seemed like a good fit for both the foundation and Ohio State Mansfield,” Groves said.
The renovation, including the learning collaborative classroom, is expected to be completed in Spring 2013.