New "Learning Studio" Unveiled at Lackawanna College

By Eric Deabill |

Published 08/27 2014 04:37PM

Updated 08/28 2014 11:25AM

When students return to Lackawanna College next week, many of them will be learning in a brand new space.

From looking at the comfortable cushions in one room, you may think one room in Angeli Hall is a lounge but it is actually a classroom.

Wednesday, the Scranton college unveiled what it calls a "learning studio."

"It feels largely like a café or a living room, almost a little more domestic than a traditional classroom," Assistant Professor of Humanities Kevin McDonough said.

The new studio replaces a traditional-type classroom which usually has desks and chairs in all in a row.

"Whether we like it or not, the days of sitting in rows, students don't learn that way anymore," Erica Barone Pricci, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs said.

Katherine Fisne will be one of the first teachers to use the new "learning studio."

She teaches math and hopes the space will promote more group work and activities.

"There's also enough space in here that I can have everybody up practicing up at the same time and have more of that group collaborative-feel rather than everyone taking notes by themselves," Fisne said.

The new "learning studio" has enough space for 26 students.

Unlike other classrooms on campus, there is no tradition front of the room and there are white-boards all around the room.

"This classroom is such a departure from any of the other classrooms that we have or any other college classroom really. It's all about active learning and giving students the physical space to be engaged and motivated in different ways," Erica Barone Pricci said.

Lackawanna College officials believe their new "learning studio" is unique. The closest one they could find that resembles it is in Maryland.

College officials say if the new classroom works out well they will consider converting more classrooms into "learning studios."

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