Trustees committee meets at Krause Innovation Studio

May 07, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While other Penn State Board of Trustees committees are meeting today (May 7) at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, the Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life took its show on the road and convened at the Krause Innovation Studio in Chambers Building on the University Park campus.

Rob Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education, said he and Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, talk with the members of the committee to find out what they’re interested in learning about, and then create the meeting agenda to address those topics. “Whenever the board members’ interests intersect with facilities, we take them where the action is,” Pangborn said.

For this meeting, the committee members were interested in the topics of learning spaces, learning innovations and the expansion of a digital presence in teaching and learning.

“The Krause Innovation Studio is the perfect example of that type of learning environment, so it made sense to move the meeting there,” said Yvonne Gaudalius, associate vice president and senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education. “Meeting there can help the committee develop a better understanding of the ways new technologies are improving teaching and learning in face-to-face classes.”

Gaudalius said the meeting focused on the way digital and online learning have changed the residential learning experience. “When people think digital learning, they think about online courses but it’s part of residential instruction as well. We have the Media Commons, One Button Studio that students use to make presentations, the Knowledge Commons in the Libraries, 3-D printing, Open Educational Resources in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Education’s Krause Innovation Studio, among other facilities and resources,” she said.

“The studio also is an exploratory space for faculty, giving them a place to experiment with innovation and learn the technology,” Pangborn said. “There’s also research going on there to assess the pedagogical innovations brought about by the technology to see how big a difference it actually makes in student learning.”

Those are some of the topics Scott McDonald, director of the Krause Innovation Studio, covered when he welcomed the trustees into the studio.

“We want the trustees to understand we can design spaces specifically to support learning and that we in the Krause Innovation Studio are thinking about how to do that, as well as how to research how people learn in those spaces,” McDonald said. “I think it is important for people that are influencing the decision-making around learning spaces at Penn State to see what is possible in person, and also to hear about the kind of design thinking that went into making decisions in the space. It is not simply that we want a pretty space for students to work in, but rather that we can actually think about designing learning spaces drawing on principles built on learning theory.”

College of Education Dean David H. Monk said a facility such as this studio is especially relevant for use by students in the College of Education. “I think it is important especially for education students to work in spaces that support learning so they can become aware of the relationship between space and learning. As they move out into educational professions this can help them inform the design and organization of the spaces they will work in,” he said.

This is the second time the Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life has chosen to meet in an off-site location, and it likely will not be the last.

“We took the committee to the Career Services Building last September to show the trustees how it was set up. It was very convenient because people in leadership roles there were able to show committee members the space, instead of just talking about it,” Pangborn said. “We may do this again with other facilities when it makes sense based on the topics of interest to the committee members.”

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Last Updated April 19, 2017