Selected Observations from the Open-ended Responses
More than 300 respondents also included some additional comments in response to the question, “What did you like about the classroom you taught in this quarter and what could be improved?” The following represent some common issues that were mentioned and how the Registrar’s office is responding to these comments.
Projection screens that cover a writing surface
A mixed mode of presentation is appears to be the new norm, where slides or web media are projected along with parallel annotation on an adjacent writing surface. While many classroom spaces do not currently have the wall space to provide this kind of arrangement, this need is being factored into plans to refresh and upgrade classroom facilities going forward.
Lack of fresh chalk and markers
This problem has been addressed this in a meeting with our the campus janitorial contractor, whose responsibility it is to continuously monitor the availability of classroom supplies. Faculty and instructors are encouraged to report problems with lack of chalk, whiteboard markers and erasers by calling 723-7888 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classroom temperature and acoustics
Some of the buildings in the Main Quad without climate control can be uncomfortable, particularly in the spring and fall. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution at this time since the sandstone buildings on campus were designed in the late 19th century However, as these buildings come up for major renovation, improvements to climate control will be examined.
Expectaions for classroom furniture arrangements
It was also apparent from survey responses and focus groups that there are (broadly) two sets of expectations around the arrangements of classroom furniture. Some instructors commented that they loved the ability to configure the furniture in a classroom to meet the needs of that day’s activities such as creating a discussion circle, or facilitating small group work. Others noted their disappointment when they found their assigned classroom in disarray, thereby requiring that they and their TAs spend time returning the furniture to the desired arrangement. It does seem that the freedom to rearrange suggests the concomitant courtesy of putting the space back tto a standard "baseline" configuration, if only to facilitate the next instructor performing their own optimization. For an example of this "resetting," see the classrooms in the Stanford d.school.