Walsh University’s newest technologically infused academic building, the Marlene and Joe Toot Global Learning Center, was recently honored by the Northeast Ohio NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association for its innovative design by the architectural firm Richard L. Bowen + Associates, who received the Award of Excellence for Mixed Use Architectural Design of the Year.
The building was intentionally designed with open spaces for students of all disciplines to collaborate with an emphasis on digital literacy. The building features complete wireless connectivity, a 16-foot video wall for showcasing digital projects, and state-of-the art labs to support growing academic areas in computer engineering, digital media, graphic design and video production.
Since the building opened in January, the University has proactively pursued opportunities to expand digital opportunities for students to showcase their media projects such as podcast series, webinars, website design, video production and graphic design projects. Students in Walsh’s COM135 course made quick use of the Mother Angelica Video Production Lab and produced high-quality, professional videos such as the University’s Day of Giving Thank You message, which was distributed to all Walsh alumni, faculty, staff and students. Beginning this fall, Walsh’s new Digital Badge system will recognize student accomplishments and validate the skills obtained through completion of digital artifacts. In addition, students will have the opportunity to feature their completed projects on the GLC’s video wall.
The Mother Angelica Video Production Studio honors the life and legacy of Canton native Mother Angelica foundress of EWTN, an International Catholic Television Network. With the opening of the GLC, the University forged a new collaboration with EWTN to house studio productions and eventually produce content to air on the network. This April, Walsh students participated as live-audience members and volunteers in the set-up/production of EWTN’s Dr. Ray Guarendi, Living Right with Dr. Ray show. Traditionally filmed in Cleveland, the on-campus event welcomed more than 200 audience members for three tapings and provided a unique experience for students interested in digital media and broadcast careers.
Starting in fall 2017, all Walsh students are now required to take one course with a substantial embedded digital media component such as digitally shared videos, digital games, online tutorials or interactive webpages. This coursework component provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity and technology to communicate by producing and disseminating digital media projects. The new initiative is a part of Walsh’s ongoing commitment to preparing graduates for the challenges in the modern world. A course with a digital media designation can be in any discipline, including Walsh’s general education curriculum, but must include an immersion and substantive digital media project that helps the students develop the types of skills and knowledge that will enhance their digital confidence.
“Walsh University is committed to helping students not only develop as intelligent, caring, compassionate human beings, but also ensuring that all students possess the knowledge and skills relevant for the digital age,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Douglas Palmer, Ph.D. “The ability to use digital tools and venues has joined with the traditional skills of writing and speaking as essential components of modern communication.”