Monmouth College's new Center for Science and Business (CSB) has brought many innovative technologies to campus.
All departments benefit from different types of technology: the biology department now has an integrated projection system and a cadaver lab; chemistry gained an extremely organized and state-of-the-art organic chemistry lab; a nuclear research facility and observatory dome was dedicated to the physics department; the math and computer science department now has advanced supercomputing labs as well as regular computer labs with extended software licensure. This list is just the beginning of the technology available in the CSB. However, after interviewing six faculty members and two students, we were surprised to discover that the most basic technologies are often the ones considered most valuable.
The picture above is of a computer lab/classroom.
The professors we interviewed liked how all of the classrooms are spacious, have access to computers, and are set up in a way that makes them easy to navigate and view the boards from any place in the room. All of the chairs have wheels, so moving furniture during experiments or group projects has never been faster. All the classrooms also have access to different types of projectors, including smart boards.
Despite all of these new types of technologies, regular whiteboards in particular still stole the spotlight in nearly all of our interviews. With markers and an eraser, these boards are cleaner than the traditional chalkboard. Viewing notes on a white background (as opposed to the traditional black board) helps with comprehension from the students' perspectives and the variety of colors available for the markers help make graphs and other notes written on the board easier to see and interpret. In fact, the biggest complaint about the whiteboards was that the they were not big enough.
This picture above is of a breakout room, which is a study space available to all students at any hour.
The CSB is open 24-7 for students and has breakout rooms and its own WiFi network. We currently have the potential to pursue advanced research in a variety of fields and promote new and innovative student research with the help of the technologies that are now are now widely available in Monmouth College's new Center for Science and Business building.