The Math lab evaluation Have you ever been to a place that is depressing, gloomy, and absolutely apathetic? If not then by all means make a point to go by and visit the math lab. As a student of the University of South Alabama I have been asked to evaluate the math lab by my supervisor. My supervisor had received various complaints by students, for that reason I have been asked to observe the math lab record what I saw and write down any suggestions for change. During this evaluation I will discuss the pros and cons of the environment in the math lab. This evaluation will serve a purpose for both present and future math students.
As you enter the fifteen hundred square foot room the first thing you will see is approximately fifty computers on your right against the wall and in the center of the room there are ten round tables with six computers on each one, some of which are designated for testing only as for the others they are used for classes. There are a total of one hundred and fifty computers. The room has several spaces separated by temporary partition walls that do very little to block sounds and serve very little purpose. There are student workers walking around that tutor the students as needed.
There are also many students throughout the room at their individual computer station. At the time of my observation there were no classes in progress and all the professors were in their office, which are located at the far end of the lab. The math labs hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from nine am to nine pm and nine am to five pm on Friday they are closed on Saturday but open again on Sunday from three pm to nine pm. Although there is not a class in session you will still see students working to fulfill their required minutes in the math lab that has been assigned every week by their professor.
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Tutors and instructors are available during all operating hours to assist students. Students appear to be unable to focus due to various distractions like the constant noise of some of the math tutors joking with one another and the lights flickering throughout the room is also very distracting. The computers are located only a foot or so apart so if anyone were to sit next to you and make any type of movement like simply erase something or write, shakes the whole table.
The sound of students that are coming and going throughout my observation because it is a work at your pace type of curriculum. The temperature in the lab was sixty five degrees which for a cold nature person would be uncomfortable making it difficult to study comfortably for a long period of time. Some of the rules that are enforced within the math lab are as follows no cell phones, no eating, no drinking, and no music. I would make the following changes in the math lab to make it a more productive and studious environment.
Starting with the noise level of the room I would make the tutors aware of the complaints because of their actions and the effect on students they have caused. Secondly I would space the computers further apart that are against the walls. I would also add individual partition walls between each computer therefor blocking routine noises made by working students. This also provides privacy when trying to concentrate and study making the students more comfortable and able to work quietly. I would raise the temperature in the room to seventy two degrees which is an ideal temperature.
Although rules are very necessary It is a fact that music can help students retain and comprehend knowledge for that reason I would change the rule and allow students to listen to music but only with individual ear buds. The suggestions were implemented and students agreed that the privacy of the individual spaces made it a much more enjoyable learning environment; they were able to get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. The tutors were more respectful and worked hard to be very helpful to the best of their ability. Allowing the students to listen to music helped them to focus and not to feel so stressed when working.
The temperature was set at seventy two degrees. Students and faculty both agree that it was an ideal temperature. The lights were fixed and no longer flicker furthermore they do not cause any more distractions. The room is no longer a gloomy dreadful place nor is it apathetic but now the atmosphere is enjoyable. Students no longer dread going to the math lab and their grade averages have continued to go up. So overall I would have given it a C minus before any changes were implemented but after I would give it an A after seeing the positive results.
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