At the start of the Fall 2020 semester, Texas A&M opened the doors to an $85 million next-generation classroom building, complete with innovative tech and infrastructure.
Known as the Innovative Learning Classroom Building, the three-story building clocks in at 118,000-square-foot and offers 2,200 new seats across 10 classrooms. Texas A&M said the building is “packed with the latest in learning technology.”
“It’s an extraordinary facility that will serve students from virtually every area of study, creating more classroom space across campus, expanding our commitment to transformational teaching, and providing advanced technologies that will enhance the learning experience for everyone,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young.
In a press release, the college highlighted three classrooms, which it describes as “‘learning in the round’ immersive classrooms.” The classrooms display multimedia and presentations in a 360-degree panoramic view throughout the round classroom.
The instructor teaches at the center of the classroom with students and technology positioned throughout. Texas A&M says it believes this design “puts students and instructors ‘inside’ the instruction and encourages more interaction through a design that eliminates ‘bad seats’ in class.” In addition to an innovative physical design, the classroom also features tech upgrades with each seat having power and Internet connectivity.
“This building represents Texas A&M’s commitment to providing all students a transformational education,” said Texas A&M University Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke. “Generations of students from numerous degree programs will benefit from the investment made by the university, the university system, and the citizens of Texas ensuring students experience the learning they deserve with the immersive technology they have come to expect.”
Outside of the three “learning in the round” style classrooms, the building features an array of additional classrooms that vary in size. However, Texas A&M stresses the high degree of modern, immersive classroom tech.
To complement the modern classrooms, the building also houses Texas A&M’s Center for Teaching Excellence, the Office for Academic Innovation, and Instructional Media Services, which are intended as school resources for best practices when it comes to techniques and technology for online and in-class learning.