Ohio University’s Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning has awarded 13 spaces on campus Experiential Spaces Designation.
Judd Walker, the associate director of experiential learning for signature programs, said the application, which was made available in September, had applicants explain how their space was interdisciplinary, how it provided an authentic context for learning, ownership of learning and opportunities for deep engagement and reflection.
More than 13 spaces applied for the designation, Walker said. The Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning then put together a committee to determine which applications stood out.
The spaces on campus that received the designation included the Center for Law, Justice, and Culture; Child Development Center; Center for International Business Education & Development; Classics and Religious Studies Library; CoLab; OHIO Esports Arena; Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab; Hans Kruse Emerging Communication Technology Laboratory Complex; Kennedy Museum of Art, Christine Demler Brown Center for Art- Gallery & Studio; Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections and Digital Initiatives; Ohio Student Farm; Environmental and Plant Biology Greenhouse; and WOUB.
Walker said the Experiential Spaces Designation was the idea of his supervisor, Executive Director for Experiential Learning Lindsey Rudibaugh.
“She wanted to really highlight spaces that are showcasing experiential learning authentically,” Walker said. “Her notion is that there are lots of really good things happening and people don’t always know about it.”
David Rosenthal, an associate professor of environmental and plant biology and the coordinator of the Ohio Student Farm, which received designation as an experiential space, said the farm is an example of an experiential learning space by nature.
“We try to emulate what a small farm would exist like,” Rosenthal said. “Any activity that we engage students in at the farm is effectively experiential learning because we are teaching them how to plant, grow, how to sow seeds, how to … work the soil (and) how to harvest. All of these are skills that we illustrate by learning and doing at the farm.”
As a part of the Experiential Spaces Designation, recipients received $500 and additional signage to use for their space.
Walker said the spaces are planning to use the $500 for many different things, from small, individual items to larger purchases. One of the spaces is buying journals for students to do more reflection activities. Another space is putting a card reader outside their door for students to have access to the space even when it is closed.
Esports Director Jeff Kuhn said the Esports Arena will be using the money for increased signage, and to make the space more visible.
“The Esports Arena just opened in September,” Kuhn said. “(We’re) just looking to get more people in and make sure they know where it is and how to find it.”
Walker said once an area has been given the Experiential Space Designation, it will not expire; however, currently designated spaces will be asked not to reapply when applications open again next year.
The designation effort will continue until the Center for Advising, Career and Experiential Learning has exhausted all of the places that meet the criteria, Walker said.