Not Your Mama’s Classroom!

We’re¬†ūüė欆with active learning classrooms! You know, student-centered, flexible learning spaces that allow for a range of teaching and learning activities. What does an active learning classroom look like?

According to¬†Baepler, et al.¬†in “A Guide to Teaching in the Active Learning Classroom: History, Research, and Practice”, active learning classrooms (ALCs)

“typically feature round or curved tables with moveable seating that allow students to face each other and thus support small-group work. The tables are often paired with their own whiteboards for brainstorming and diagramming. Many tables are linked to large LCD displays so students can project their computer screens to the group, and the instructor can choose a table‚Äôs work to share with the entire class. Wireless Internet plays an important role in retrieving resources and linking to content management systems, and depending upon the size of the room, table microphones can be critical so that every student‚Äôs voice can be broadcast across the room. Unlike the lecture hall with its clear division between front and back, the ALC is designed to even out that hierarchy and increase mobility for the instructor and students.” (p.10)

Inside the Ruscio Center for Global Learning (CGL), Rooms 104, 114, 115, 211, and 212 certainly fit the bill! Look at those:

  • movable tables and chairs¬†allow the professor to circulate and interact for improved student engagement
    • movable chairs were¬†designed for quick, easy transitions from one teaching mode to the next, like lecture to group work without interruption, are¬†lightweight, portable, stackable, and COMFORTABLE! Small¬†holes in the material allow your body to breathe, so moisture and heat dissipate, so you remain cool! (CGL 114 and 211)
    • node chairs in CGL 115 and 212 have swivel seats that give students the freedom to shift focus throughout the room. The¬†base of node chair provides a unique storage solution¬†for backpacks and student belongings that usually clutter the aisles. And it has¬†an adjustable worksurface, that¬†accommodates both left- and right-handed students and provides a perfect fit for students of all shapes and sizes.
  • multiple¬†flat screen displays ensures that every seat is a good seat (CGL 115 and 212)
  • flip tables:¬†allows you to save space (CGL 104)
  • dual projection:¬†the option to display a single source on both projection screens increases the sight lines of the classroom (CGL 115 and 212)

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Compare that to college classrooms of the past …

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So … which classroom is more likely to support teaching and learning in an atmosphere conducive to engaging students actively in their own learning?

blocks that spell out DUH

[Curious about active learning, a pedagogical approach that emphasizes student engagement in the learning process? Check out this great op-ed piece by¬†Cathy N. Davidson in Inside Higher Ed, “10 Key Points About Active Learning“.]

Summer 2018 Classroom Technology Upgrades

Since classrooms are used all year round, scheduling upgrades is incredibly challenging. So leave it to the seemingly tireless Classroom Technologies team to spend the summer making enhancements to the following rooms:

  • Early Fielding 109
    • new laser projector!
      Laser projectors use a laser light source technology rather than traditional lamps to generate light. Laser projectors offer better picture quality, enhanced brightness, and a more efficient projection system for overall longevity.
    • now Skype-ready! (ViewShare camera in the screen and mics have been installed in the ceiling.)
    • wireless presentation/projection available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
      Solstice is platform-agnostic so it works with Apple products, Windows computers and tablets, and Android devices. Additionally, multiple users are able to connect and share at the same time!
  • Early Fielding 114:
    • new laser projector!
    • new screen!
    • wireless presentation/projection via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Huntley Hall 220:
    • new laser projector!¬†
    • new screen!
    • now Skype-ready! (ViewShare camera in the screen and mics have been installed in the ceiling.)
    • wireless presentation/projection is now available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Huntley Hall 301:
    • the ability to connect HDMI devices!
    • new laser projector!¬†
    • new screen!
    • now Skype-ready! (ViewShare camera in the screen and mics have been installed in the ceiling.)
    • wireless presentation/projection is now available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Parmly Hall 306:
    • new 80″ flat screen panel on the wall¬†(increased brightness, better contrast and clarity)
    • wireless presentation/projection is now available via a Mersive Solstice Pod!
  • Stackhouse Theater:
    • 1st part of 2 part renovation
  • Wilson Concert Hall:
    • COMPLETE technology installation

Many, many thanks to Tom Capito, Alicia Shires, and Todd Goetz for all you guys do! You guys rock!

If you have any questions about classroom updates, please contact the Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or email help@wlu.edu.