Active Learning Classrooms
Indiana University Bloomington continues to explore the use of alternative classroom designs to promote active learning. These spaces have been developed in response to faculty requests for classrooms that support the kinds of innovative pedagogies they are exploring, such as team-based and problem-based learning. Lecturing in these classrooms is typically replaced with out-of-class content delivery and in-class collaborative activities that ask students to apply that content in order to solve unique problems.
This newest active learning classroom at IUB seats 96 students at sixteen technology-enhanced tables. A large video wall allows the instructor to project multiple sources, including the typical array of instructor tools as well as material from the computers at the student tables. Designed to promote active learning in large classes, this room has no traditional instructor’s lectern, de-centering the room and promoting team- and project-based activities.
Cedar Hall 002 is a “Learn Lab” configuration that seats 60 students at large tables set in a spoke-like configuration. The seating arrangement promotes group work, particularly when groups need to spread out and access materials related to their projects. Multiple projection points in the room allow for sharing of resources needed for group activities, and portable white boards facilitate the taking and sharing of each team’s notes.
Cedar Hall 102 seats 49 students and has been designed to provide a less formal classroom environment that supports group discussion and collaborative learning activities. Its eclectic mix of furniture includes soft-seated tablet arm chairs, four-top tables, and booths with build-in technology. Multiple projection points allow for sharing of content, while portable white boards allow groups to take and share notes with the larger class.
These classrooms are similar in ways to other standard mid-sized classrooms in Ballantine Hall, but they are furnished with Node chairs that allow for easier movement around the room, making it easier to move into group activities and other configurations.
The University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning provides a summary of research results covering the use of active learning techniques and best practices for teaching in active learning classrooms.
For more help or information
Instructors wishing to teach in the Cedar Hall or Student Building classrooms described above should provide the CITL with the information outlined here; this office works to assure proper matches between teaching approaches and classrooms, and makes classroom assignment recommendations to the Registrar. The Ballantine Hall 206 and 307 rooms can be scheduled as usual through the Registrar.
CITL Instructional technology consultants (firstname.lastname@example.org) can assist in developing and implementing teaching approaches tailored for active learning classrooms. Beverly Teach (email@example.com) in Classroom Technology Services is available to consult with departments or units who wish to design or renovate classroom spaces.