This spring marks the opening of the newest TILE classroom, 154 Biology Building! The room has seating for 36 students and hosts many of the technology features you have come to expect in a TILE classroom, including round tables with laptops wired to flat screen TV’s, multiple large screen projectors, and white board space for group work. The new space also marks the inclusion of gooseneck microphones at each table, to help ensure each individual’s voice can be heard throughout the space during the collaborative learning process. Steve Silva, SITA Manager said, “The new room in the Biology building marks an exciting opportunity for Biology and other departments to continue to transform their courses while continuing to offer exceptional educational opportunities for University of Iowa students.”
The Biology department is already transforming the experience students will have in some of their courses using the new space. Individuals enrolled in the courses will be challenged to think critically about course topics and empowered to utilize strategies that best fit their individual learning preferences and needs. Students will use the room to engage with fellow students and instructors in new and exciting ways. Professors Leicht and McAllister worked with the SITA team and Center for Teaching to develop a TILE Labs: Essentials training to assist the Biology Teaching Assistants prepare for their roles in the TILE classroom. The training introduced many Biology graduate teaching assistants, lecturers, and faculty to the concepts of student-centered active learning, and showed them ways to include these concepts in their own classrooms.
The opening of 154 BB marks not only the beginning of a new semester, but a new page in the use and impact of TILE spaces on The University of Iowa campus.