Thinking outside the classroom: Popular spaces repurposed for socially distanced classes: News at IU: Indiana University

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October 20, 2020

When Meng Qing just saw the autumn course schedule, he was a little puzzled and realized that one of them would be taught in the autumn course.


Meng said: "It's weird. I never remember anyone taking classes at the IMU." "I really want to know where the class is in the building."

Meng is a senior human resource management major and is taking a course on diversity and inequality. This semester, classes will be taught in the Frangipani Room, which has a large stage and hardwood floors and is usually used for banquets, performances and conferences.

In fact, six spaces have been used in the IMU this semester to meet the physical evacuation needs of Indiana University Bloomington campus face-to-face courses:

In addition, four other auxiliary spaces are also used for classes:

"These spaces help ensure that all courses are opened in the fall of 2020 and spring 2021," said Jenni Kirby, assistant registrar and program services manager in the region.

. "Without them, we would have no place to meet."

Due to the physical evacuation requirements established during the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer seats can be used in regular inventory classrooms. Kirby said that Deputy Provost and Registrar Mark McConahay (Mark McConahay) identified non-traditional spaces that could be used for classroom teaching. Mark Russell, manager of learning spaces and technical services, and his team’s technical review helped him.

When McConahay contacted the campus partners who control these spaces, they generously agreed to provide them. Kirby added that capital planning, facility operations and UITS help ensure furniture safety, ensure proper physical evacuation measures and equip rooms with standard classroom technology.

"Given the teaching challenges this semester, this exceeded my expectations."

, Is an associate professor at the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and he is teaching diversity and inequality in the Frangipani Room. "IMU teaching has always been a bright spot."

Fulton said the wood panelling and lighting make the space look like a classic, historic classroom.

Fulton said: "Compared with a lecture hall or a storage room with four walls, it gives people a sense of dignity in class."

Meng said that the frangipani hall met the needs of students.

She said: "I like that we have enough space to keep our distance from society." "We have more space to take notes on the table, for which I am very grateful."

An assistant professor of political science in the School of Arts and Sciences, he is teaching courses on civil war and political violence in the Whittenberger Auditorium.

He said: "It was a very pleasant experience." "The venue worked very well."

Koren uses the screen to display the slides on his laptop, and with students sitting in front with appropriate spacing, he can easily talk and interact with the students.

He added: “There is always a technician present at the beginning of every class, which is very helpful to me.”

Associate Professor of Art History at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is teaching Italian Renaissance art classes in the Frangipani Room. He said that the room has about 30 lighting options, which are perfect for showing painting slides.

Since the Frangipani Hall is large and suitable for physical evacuation, Knox said it made him feel comfortable in teaching in person.

He said: "I really want to teach there again."

The IU Cinema has 14 classes this semester, including principles of chemistry and biochemistry, financial accounting and Japanese film studies. Brittany Frisner, temporary director of IU Cinemas, said that IU Cinemas usually only offer one or two academic courses per year.

Frisner said: “We are pleased to know that while we are focusing on presenting virtual movie events, the physical space of IU Cinema can continue to be used for profound and transformative education and attracting IU students.”

The curator of the university archives said that non-traditional classroom spaces are rarely used in campus history. After the Second World War, redundant Quonset huts and barracks were brought to campus to reduce overcrowding in classrooms and offices. Many barracks are used for housing, but some are used as classrooms. Most Quonset cabins are used in offices or laboratories.

Hollie Lutz, Assistant Director of IMU Conference and Event Services, said that in the past, when maintenance problems occurred in the location of the original assigned class, the Registrar's Office had moved several classes to the IMU for a day or two.

Hank Walter, Executive Director of IMU, said: “We have never offered courses at IMU in history, but this is a unique historical situation.” “So when the university requires the use of some meeting rooms for this purpose, Supporting this need is an easy decision."

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