Opportunity to learn virtually is here

Center for Virtual Learning opens for classes

After five years of planning and two years of construction, Ferris students will attend classes in the Center for Virtual Learning.

The CVL was created to help bring students, educators and technology together. 

The programs within the CVL were created along with new opportunities for students to grow mentally and achieve their academic needs.

Glen Okonoski, director of the television and digital media production program and a representative of the School of Digital Media, was one of the many behind bringing the CVL building to existence.

“Planning for the building has been ongoing and started in 2018,” Okonoski said.  “In 2019, design work with Stantec, the architecture firm, began that ultimately, through many iterations, resulted in the building design that you see today.”

As of 2023, the CVL is still in the works of expanding.  Construction work is held at the building’s location during the week mornings while students walk to class.

With more rooms and facilities being added, the CVL still has key aspects to bringing virtual learning to the students who need it.  

Okonoski touches on what the CVL has that not only makes it a well-provided building, but what it has to set itself unique compared to other buildings on campus.

“There are beautiful, purpose built learning spaces in the building that support all the academic programs housed in the building for in-person instruction,” Okonoski said.  “In short, there are many ways the building will support a variety of learning modalities and experiences for students.”

 Television and digital media production senior Nolan Harris touched on what makes the CVL a great addition to the university that corresponds to students who are in his same major.

Located between FLITE and Hallisy Hall, the Center for Virtual Learning will be home to numerous programs, computer labs and an esports arena. Photo by: Jessica Oakes | Editor-in-Chief

“[The CVL] strengthens the cooperation and cohesion of the university,” Harris said.  “And for those who are in my major, there are audio rooms that are accessible for us to use for anything that needs recording purposes. For anyone who needs to record something, they can head straight to the CVL.”

Having audio rooms and other places to record can help those majoring in television & digital media production make more stories and podcasts for the university.  

Even if that’s not within a student’s major, they can investigate those rooms and see if they can record something for a class or any other academic use.

Bill Jung, a television engineer at Ferris and a committee member for the interior furnishing of the CVL, gave some insight about a new program that was set to be added to the CVL before it was in the works of being built.

“After the CVL was in the planning stage, Ferris added a program in professional eSports production,” Jung said.  “It makes the degree program much more vibrant and relevant.”

By collaborating with esports, the CVL has an eSports arena that is designed to help engage both current and future Ferris students in a growing brand-loyal community.

Ferris knows esports as campus’ fastest growing club sport.

Despite the CVL being a building for virtual students, Jung mentioned that communication between students is important to those who decide to learn virtually.

“Having students talk to one another, even if they aren’t in the same program, has benefits as everyone learns from each other and ideas bounce in interesting and new directions,” Jung said.

Along with TDMP majors and esports enjoyers, Ferris students taking classes in artificial intelligence and product management, information security and intelligence, the school of digital media, the school of education or online learning will have the opportunity to experience the CVL firsthand.

For more information, visit www.ferris.edu and search “Center for Virtual Learning” and contact FerrisFoundation@nullFerris.edu for any questions and find how students get involved in a community that helps them succeed academically through virtual learning.

Nolan Harris was formerly employed as a news reporter for the Ferris State Torch.