Eberly’s Financial Trading Room Brings Real-World Technology to the Classroom

Posted on 4/15/2011 10:43:31 AM

The Financial Trading Room at the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology offers state-of-the-art technology for both faculty and students.

The Financial Trading Room
Members of the Student Managed Investment Portfolio in Eberly's Financial Trading Room

Eberly 104/109 features forty-four computer stations, an instructor computer, two large pull-down screens, and a projector, as well as a financial ticker that tracks the market. The individual stations can be linked to the instructor computer, meaning that the students and the instructor can view the same material simultaneously, and the screens and projector allow instructors to project PowerPoint files, images, or websites for students.

“It’s an excellent addition to the College of Business instruction and classroom capability,” said Dr. Robert Boldin, chair of the Department of Finance and Legal Studies.

Professors often use online tools such as Moodle to aid in their teaching, and the capabilities in the room allow students to complete activities on this platform during class.

“Students can have hands-on, real-world application to what they learn in theory,” said Dr. Ibrahim Affaneh, a Finance and Legal Studies Department professor. Affaneh teaches Fundamentals of Finance and Financial Institutions and Markets in the room.

“We take advantage of all the prices on the ticker and show them the components of the Dow Jones,” he said.

The Student Managed Investment Portfolio (SMIP), a student organization that manages its own stock portfolio and is funded by the Foundation for IUP, utilizes this room on a regular basis. SMIP takes advantage of the technology, including multiple computer screens, to monitor the market.

“I feel that the primary benefit of using the trading room is multitasking,” said John Benischeck, a SMIP team manager. “Having three monitors is paramount when analyzing a company. I can have one window displaying a chart from say, morningstar.com, and another displaying the company's 10-K. I couldn't imagine trying to do what we do anywhere else on campus.”

by Rose Catlos