The University recently completed several key projects to enhance the student experience, support Nexus Learning and improve sustainability results.
One major initiative is the opening of two new Nexus Learning Hubs, including one in Tuttleman 206, which has additional features not seen in other Hubs on campus that support active learning.
“The room is not as decentralized as previous active learning spaces in that there’s clearly a front of the classroom,” said Jeff Ashley, director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). “However, students are arranged in groups of four, all with optimized sightlines to the front. This will allow instructors to easily toggle between short lectures—the ‘all-eyes-on-me’ mode—and collaborative working groups where the instructor can easily maneuver around the room to facilitate discussions and provide feedback to students.”
This new Nexus Learning Hub also provides a variety of furniture types. Vertically adjustable tables in the rear allow students to sit or stand, and front tables are accented by comfortable ottomans, previously used in social spaces like the Kanbar Campus Center.
“There’s a range of furniture offerings to give students some choice, so they can maximize their comfort level and hopefully sustain attention longer,” said Ashley, noting that the furniture and flooring were donated, respectively, by Teknion and Tandus Centiva.
A Nexus Learning Hub was added to the Center for Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design (SEED) as well.
“Part of the entry space in the SEED Center was overhauled to more comfortably accommodate students during pin-up or digital crits,” Ashley said. “The space now allows for collaboration using large tables and groupings of chairs around high-resolution monitors, some of them touch screen.”
New carpet provides some acoustic dampening in this open space, and like with other Hubs, most available wall space was covered with magnetic whiteboard surface, he said.
Other University projects over the summer included:
- The updating and expansion of the Paul J. Gutman Library Media Classroom.
- The installation of a new state-of-the-art loom in Hayward Hall.
- The expansion of and mechanical upgrades to the physician assistant anatomy facility in Somers Point, N.J.
- The continued removal and closure of underground oil storage tanks at Ravenhill, part of a multi-year plan that includes phased conversion of several systems to heat pumps and natural gas. The upgrade lowers energy usage and costs, decreases the risk of ground contamination and improves the campus carbon footprint, said J. Thomas Becker, associate vice president for operations at Jefferson.
- Work continued on the design of the new Harold and Kay Ronson Health and Applied Science Center, currently scheduled to break ground later this academic year.
“We would like to thank all of those on campus who worked to enable all of these successes,” Becker said.