Sandra and Avi Nash Classroom for Collaboration Opens in Link Hall

April 30, 2015

This spring, the College of Engineering and Computer Science held a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony to officially open a state-of-the-art classroom for collaboration. The space was named after esteemed chemical engineering alumnus Avi Nash G’77 and his wife, Sandra.

The collaborative classroom is designed to allow students to explore their course material in ways that aren’t possible in traditional classrooms. In this new space, instructors design their classroom activities to foster team-based learning and are provided technology and resources that bolster their efforts.

“We recognize that classroom infrastructure plays a critical role in active learning. In this space, that process can be facilitated. We’re thrilled to have a place where students can interact with their peers and instructors in ways that enhance their learning experiences and outcomes,” said Julie Hasenwinkel, associate dean for undergraduate programs and student affairs.

Funding for the collaborative classroom came from three key sources — a generous gift from Nash, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which includes gifts from individual donors to the Dean’s Fund, and Syracuse University.

Multiple classes and events have begun to be held in the space. As faculty and students become acclimated to the room and its resources, they may uncover additional ways to use it to augment the collaborative experience. To start, here are the features the room offers.

Dual Overhead Projectors
Instructors can display one or two screens to the class, or retract the screens to let in natural light and a birds-eye view of Machinery Hall.

Mobile Whiteboards
Instead of walking to the front of the class to write on the chalkboard, student teams can scrawl their work on small whiteboards that hang from racks on the walls and from the side of their the tables, then move them around the room.

10 LED Monitors
Monitors are connected to a teaching station where instructors are able to control what appears on them. Professors can share the same or different information on the screens. Students are also able to plug laptops into them to display their work.

Reconfigurable Tables
By default, the tables and chairs are arranged in six-person groups to foster collaboration and discussion, but they can easily be reconfigured for many purposes to foster different interactions.

The classroom is located in Link Hall, in the space that was formerly 369/371. Check out more photos from the dedication event and one of the first classes held in the space here.