Texas A&M’s Innovative Learning Classroom Building Celebrates First Semester

Nov 29, 2020 by

The creative learning space has fully immersive technology for classroom and learning labs.

By Brandon V. Webb, Texas A&M University Office of Provost
students sit in round lecture hall
One of the three “in the round” classrooms in the Innovative Learning Classroom Building.

Sam Craft/Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications

Along a stretch of Wellborn Road in College Station is the newest home for cutting-edge learning on the campus of Texas A&M University. Built in the area of campus once known for movies and Midnight Yell Practice at “The Grove,” the sophisticated new Innovative Learning Classroom Building is a 118,000-square-foot, three-story building that offers 2,200 new seats across 10 classrooms packed with the latest in learning technology. The building pays tribute through artwork to the memories built at The Grove while standing as a showcase example of Texas A&M’s commitment to student success, university officials said.

“This building honors Texas A&M’s historic land-grant legacy while also prioritizing the modern, innovative classrooms that will improve student success in the future,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “It’s an extraordinary facility that will serve students from virtually every area of study, creating more classroom space across campus, expanding our commitment to transformational teaching, and providing advanced technologies that will enhance the learning experience for everyone.”

an exterior shot of the Innovative Learning Classroom Building
The Innovative Learning Classroom Building.

Jesse Everett/Texas A&M Division of Marketing and Communications

At the center of the $85 million Innovative Learning Classroom Building are three “learning in the round” immersive classrooms that display multimedia and presentations in a 360-degree panoramic view throughout the round classroom. The instructor teaches at the center of the classroom, immersed in the heart of the room with students and technology positioned throughout. The innovative design puts students and instructors “inside” the instruction and encourages more interaction through a design that eliminates “bad seats” in class. Even in the largest classrooms, no student will sit further than 10 rows away from their instructor. Each classroom seat has power and Internet connectivity, features that are also prominent throughout the building in common meeting spaces and other locations where students can gather and collaborate.

“This building represents Texas A&M’s commitment to providing all students a transformational education,” said Texas A&M University Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke. “Generations of students from numerous degree programs will benefit from the investment made by the university, the university system, and the citizens of Texas ensuring students experience the learning they deserve with the immersive technology they have come to expect.”

an interior shot of a stairwell in the Innovative Learning Classroom Building

The building houses the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Office for Academic Innovation and Instructional Media Services. Jesse Everett/Texas A&M Division of Marketing and Communications

Classrooms range in size from two smaller, 72-seat learning studios to the large 600-seat classroom-in-the-round, each featuring the latest innovations in technology and classroom design.

In addition to featuring advanced, active learning classrooms, the building houses the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Office for Academic Innovation, and Instructional Media Services — each designed as a resource for the latest techniques and technology for online and in-class learning.

The building offers a café and common areas and serves as an extension of the Memorial Student Center, where students gather to meet, study and collaborate.

Construction began in May 2018. Students from a wide array of courses and majors began taking classes in the building in fall 2020.

Source: Texas A&M’s Innovative Learning Classroom Building Celebrates First Semester – Texas A&M Today

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