This semester students in classes such as “Video Games & Learning” and “Human-Computer Interaction” have found a new home in College Library. Recent remodeling at the library has provided innovative new services and classroom experiences for students. In addition to introductory math classes in the WisCEL Center in Room 3250, the Computer & Media Center in Room 2250 has been reconfigured to facilitate digital media instruction and learning with the opening of Media Studio classrooms and DesignLab.
Designed to serve courses that are media rich and emphasize collaborative learning including Michael Opest’s “Writing and Rhetoric through Dylan and Springsteen,” the Media Studio classrooms host courses from a variety of departments on campus. (Courses required for a Digital Studies Certificate are given scheduling priority, however.) In departments as diverse as Psychology, English, Journalism, and Legal Studies, all of the Media Studio classes either analyze or produce media and often involve group projects, according to Rosemary Bodolay, the Associate Director of DesignLab and manager of the Media Studio class schedules. As a result, the space is flexible and easily accommodates design and/or instruction needs. The classrooms can either function as two separate entities, holding 24 students each, or the wall can be retracted and up to 48 students can use the space as a whole. Each of the classrooms is equipped with 6 work stations, 7 flexible tables, two projectors, and all the available software that you would find on the Infolab computers, allowing instructors using the Media Studio to construct an innovative learning experience for their students.
Bodolay is excited about the possibilities of the space and has heard a lot of positive feedback from both the professors and their students. The Media Studio classrooms are in the center of an active creative and technological setting that includes the computer lab where students can check out laptops, video cameras, audio recorders and other devices, classes provided by Software Training for Students, DesignLab, with their staff of trained assistants who are able to offer guidance on digital media projects including podcasts, posters, videos, etc., and the library’s collection of computer manuals for self-directed learning. “Each of the services offered is enhanced by the adjacency to all the other activities, creating a natural synergy of learning opportunities around technology. It’s an exciting collaboration for the libraries to support,” says College Library Director, Carrie Kruse.
When classes are not in session, both the Media Studio and DesignLab spaces are available for use by UW-Madison affiliates. The variety of work stations and space for group projects expands the study options for the many students using the library and computer lab.
For more about DesignLab, see the UW-Madison Libraries news story.