During summer 2021, Fell Hall underwent significant improvements, thanks to academic funds from Illinois State University. And the School of Communication, which holds the vast majority of classes in Fell Hall, has benefited greatly.
All of the classrooms on the first floor have been updated with new technology and furniture, including new desks, LED projectors, and folding white boards as well as more aesthetic changes such as new paint and carpeting.
The new seats are conference based, with wheels and an adjustable desk to accommodate all needs and body types. They also provide under-seat storage, so students can keep their belongings off of the floor, and a cup holder to hold a drink or water bottle.
“Having those more mobile stations and more mobile desks really facilitates more collaborative learning environments,” said Dr. Nate Carpenter, who oversees the technical needs of the school.
Aside from furniture-based upgrades, Fell Hall has seen a great change in technological updates.
Faculty now have the ability to project class materials utilizing a dual screen setup. Classrooms also have received document cameras that can share a single physical document with the entire class. Fell Hall has also updated its projectors.
“One of the neatest things I’ve seen is that we have moved away from overhead projectors and now everything is a very large LED display,” Carpenter said.
This means that instead of using light-based projection to display a computer’s screen, the classrooms now utilize a LED wall panel. The switch from projectors to LED displays can mean a more vivid image as well as a lower level of power consumption.
Aesthetically, each classroom received a fresh coat of paint plus newly installed carpeting. Other details have been incorporated throughout the classrooms, especially large photos showing views of Fell Hall throughout the years.
The world of education has entered an era of technological necessity, and Fell Hall now reflects that. For the faculty, some of the pieces may have a small learning curve, but in the long run, the School of Communication hopes that it will give everyone a better learning or teaching experience overall.
“I think it just really brings our teaching spaces into the 21st century,” said Carpenter, “We’ve gone from rooms that were straight out of the 1990s to now, and it just creates a significantly better environment for teaching and learning. It’s a fresh perspective, which is great.”