More recently, Studio 102 has been used to test educational applications of a demo model 60-inch, transparent, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) sign. Instructional Technologist Stacey DeLoose ‘96 BS said OLED signage is typically used in retail, public spaces and offices. She has not yet seen any educational applications for recorded lectures.

“Some faculty who have used the lightboard said they really wish they could include a PowerPoint, pictures, diagrams or websites—things they can’t personally draw—and work those into the recorded lecture,” she said. “The OLED is like a lightboard, but a step beyond. You can plug a computer into it to display what’s on your screen. And by using the touch screen on your laptop, you’re able to draw. Ideally the OLED screen would have touch capability as well—essentially operating like there’s a lightboard within it that you can draw on with a stylus instead of chalk.”

DeLoose demonstrated the enhanced interactivity afforded by the OLED with a 3D map of the COVID-19 virus. She rotated the image, zoomed in and out, and manipulated sections to accentuate the detail. As she drew via the laptop’s touch screen, her creations were projected in larger formats on the sign. She said the OLEDs are pricey, at about $50,000 each, compared with $6,000 for a lightboard.

NMU unveiled the latter at the grand opening for Studio 102 in October 2018. Faculty have found creative ways to use it. DeLoose said Terry Delpier of Nursing wrote out a concept map of condition descriptions, symptoms and medications that she talked through and had students replicate for better recall. Dan Kill, an adjunct economics instructor, draws a tax triangle for a finance class to explain how to plan for retirement, then explores the subject in greater depth in class.

“The lightboard is a great tool for flipping a classroom,” DeLoose added. “That’s where a faculty member does a recorded lecture for students to watch online on their own time as homework, and then they apply what they learned during the next in-person class session. It allows for more robust classroom activities. We saw more flipping of classrooms with the pandemic and it might change the model of teaching for some professors even after the pandemic. I don’t know of another school that has a studio like this. We’re trying to be responsive to what faculty need and supportive of our students.”