New Experimental Classroom

Posted on August 7, 2013 by Sally Mesarosh

MCC Receives $20,000 Donation from Target Interiors

Cluster groupingCluster groupingAny type of learning requires the ability to be flexible and adaptable. This fall, math students and instructors in experimental classroom AS192 at Mesa Community College will have new furnishings that reflect those attributes.

The classroom design provides an active learning environment to keep students engaged as they learn high level math concepts.  Easily movable table-based furniture and chairs on rollers allow teachers to instruct from different positions in the room and seamlessly transition from lecture mode to group discussion mode.

Additionally, students have easy access to personal-sized whiteboards for note-taking purposes during group projects as a replacement to huddling around a piece of paper. The whiteboards also serve as space dividers during test time to ensure privacy. The bright, clean, colorful furnishings make for a comfortable learning environment.

MCC received a $20,000 donation to furnish the classroom from Target Interiors, a local dealer for Steelcase Education Solutions. Steelcase has studied changes in education for years and creates furnishings based on a human-centered design research process.  

MCC Dean of Instruction Roger Yohe said the classroom is the first of its kind on campus and will encourage MCC’s commitment to problem-based real-world learning. Yohe worked on the design of the room with Daphne A. Rossiter, chair of mathematics and computer science, and several math instructors who will use the room this fall.

“I love the idea that every desk has a white board and there are hooks around the room for displaying the board work,” Rossiter said.  “The latest thing is to do what they call a gallery walk where they display what their group did and the other groups get ideas.”

Rossiter and the instructors are looking forward to moving the desks around into varied group settings, encouraging students to interact.

“We are really hoping that collaborative effort will take hold in that room,” Rossiter said.

New carpet and paint adds to the room’s appeal. 

“You walk in and go, ‘Oh wow, this doesn’t look like a normal classroom,’” Rossiter said. “It’s going to be really neat for the students. By displaying the students’ math projects, when you walk in the room, we want it to scream MATH. We want people to know it’s really a math classroom. We’re all really excited.”

AS192 is the third experimental classroom at MCC.

Yohe said the college’s updated approach to learning, with new experimental classrooms and the new online learning management system, Canvas, is extremely beneficial to MCC students.

“MCC is becoming known for good design in both physical and virtual learning environments,” Yohe said.

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Sally Mesarosh at mesarosh@mesacc.edu or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:  www.mesacc.edu/ia.

New chairs in Experimental Classroom                A white board at every desk