Garage transformed into unbelievable VU classroom - External Relations
Garage transformed into unbelievable VU classroom
April 3, 2020
VINCENNES, Ind. – A love for teaching, a dash of creativity and a
garage, this is the recipe for an amazing virtual classroom!
Jonathan Vennard, VU Assistant Professor
Vincennes University Precision Machining Technology Assistant
Professor Jonathan Vennard completely transformed his garage into an
incredible learning environment complete with green screens, LED
lighting and multiple monitors.
Cookie-cutter videos are not this self-described YouTube junkie’s
style. With VU’s switch to remote learning, Vennard is jazzing up the
instructional videos he films for precision machining majors. He
lectures with a newsroom style set behind him. He also adds graphics
such as waving American flags and logos.
“I wanted to make what I do with my classroom a little more creative
rather than just seeing my screen and listening to me talk monotone
about the program I’m writing, we could make it more interesting and
fun, and try to keep them engaged and laughing a little if we can,”
Noah Hoskins, VU Student
make students like Noah Hoskins feel like they are sitting in a
classroom. “It is not as difficult with the videos Professor Vennard
is sharing,” Hoskins said. “With him sharing the videos, I can watch
him do a little bit on the part then I can switch over to mine and do
exactly what he did and if I do something wrong, I can watch it again
and maybe catch something I did not in the first time over.”
The majority of Vennard’s students are balancing remote learning,
while also working in essential businesses. Many work in machine shops
and manufacturing facilities. Some are even helping create products
that are helping in the fight against COVID-19.
“A lot of them work for companies that make medical instruments and
devices,” Vennard said. “Some of them have picked up production rather
than slowing down. Our students not only are they still making sure
they get their coursework done, they’re also helping keep the gears rolling.”
Hoskins, a sophomore from Crothersville, Ind., and Devyn Brown, a
sophomore from Paris, Ill., are both working in machine shops. “The
support from Professor Vennard and all my other professors is just
incredible,” Hoskins said.
Devyn Brown, VU Student
The machine shop
where Brown is employed is working on manufacturing air filters for
masks to protect workers. “He is very in depth and does a good job of
covering our material,” Brown said. “Our industry is always changing
and forcing us to adapt, so I feel like this is just another challenge
we have to adapt to. Our CNC (Computer Numerical Control) program at
VU is one of the best, and I think that we are doing the best that we
can with what we have. We are receiving a lot of support from our
machining instructors. They are in constant contact with us to help or
answer any questions we have. In one class, we even have an open
discussion board just to talk about how we are doing at home.”
Vennard in his virtual classroom
By creating a
student-centered learning environment that engages students, Vennard
is keeping the wheels of learning turning. “Even at times of
normalcy, you have that same pride in your students because you know
what they’re out there doing and the stuff they are working on because
it’s basically what keeps the gears of the economy going,” Vennard said.
VU professors are being creative and keeping the lines of
communications open with dynamic videos, virtual office hours, email,
texts, chat rooms, phone calls, and more.
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. VU offers online degrees and classes to
students who need access to college courses and flexibility through
its Distance Education.
A leader in dual credit and career and technical education statewide,
VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.