For students wanting to take a test in a lab on campus, there's now one less place to go.
Over the summer, the testing lab in the Whitinger Business Building was converted into a computer lab that will be utilized by the College of Business. It is no longer serving as a testing lab for the general student population.
“I don’t think it's a good idea that they closed this one down because I was trying to get to class [in the Robert Bell Building] the other day and I couldn’t even get in my classroom because there was a line in front of my door,” said Quinn Hubert, a freshman computer information systems major.
Currently, the new computer lab is used to teach a logistics class and is also used for special events.
Brad Anderson, director of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Center for Excellence, shares the room with Unified Technology Support and said the computer lab will be heavily utilized in the near future.
“Although it's not as busy right now, this will be a really busy room in the near future as capabilities change,” Anderson said. “By the end of the semester, I’m guessing there will be two or three regularly held classes in there because we're putting specialized software in there that can’t be necessarily put in any classroom.”
The new computer lab had its old computers replaced with newer ones and also had special software installed specifically for classes that are held in the Whitinger Business Building. Anderson said this software has made class scheduling much easier for him.
“Before, I didn’t even know where I would be scheduled, and now we have a room for it,” Anderson said.
In addition to being a part of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Center for Excellence, the lab can still be scheduled to use as a testing lab by Unified Technology Support.
But this new change has left students with only two testing labs, Robert Bell Room 134 and Student Center Room 119. However, in order to accommodate for the testing lab closing down, Unified Technology Support added enough seats to the testing lab in Robert Bell to make sure that there is the same number of testing seats available this year as there was last year.
Laura Petty, the director of Unified Technology Media, said there are actually more testing times now than there was last year because the testing Lab in Robert Bell is open longer than the testing lab in the Whitinger Business Building had been.
“Lab management actively reviews testing lab utilization to ensure that testing goes as smoothly as possible,” Petty said in an email. “As we have done in the past, additional testing labs are opened during midterms and finals.”
Despite there being more overall testing times and seats in the Robert Bell lab, some students are facing challenges including longer lines and an overall time inconvenience.
“There is definitely a longer wait time in Robert Bell and its annoying because we are college students and we procrastinate some times and having to only have an hour to submit tests is a bit annoying,” said Tasha Wilson, a senior telecommunications major. "I had to wait probably a good 10 minutes to get inside Robert Bell and it used to only take like two to five when they had more testing labs but now its just a little frustrating because I just want to get in and get out and I can't do that."
For Luke Hill, a senior meteorology and climatology major, the new changes in testing have left him uncomfortable with the overall environment.
"Personally I don't like how they got rid of the third testing lab in the business building because it was more spread out. It's good that they added more seats into Robert Bell, but once again, I wouldn't be taking a test in a comfortable zone,” Hill said. "If they put in too many seats, and I have been in there so I think they have, it just gets too crowded and I am not really a fan of people sitting right beside me while I’m trying to take a test."
The lab in the Whitinger Business Building will be opened to students for midterm and finals testing. Students are also able to visit Ball State's Testing Lab website or download the Ball State bConnected app to help see which testing labs are most available.