There has been a growing body of research for quite some time that indicates "active learning" is a more effective way to move students up the hierarchy of Bloom's Taxonomy and thus maximize learning outcomes. More recently, many universities have been working on classroom layout, technology, and user support models to try to make active learning more central to the classroom experience.
Typical Active Learning Classrooms Features
- As much white board space as possible as a perimeter
- Multiple flat-panel display projection systems
- Round tables that accommodate six or nine students each
- A centered teaching station that allows selection and display of table-specific information
- Easy to use controls to allow student or faculty display from any of the "pods" in the room
This year ITSS has implemented a "sand box" classroom to test technology that can support and enhance active learning teaching approaches. The campus is also beginning to plan more active learning classrooms for near and mid term implementation.
For an example how this can be implemented and the research findings around effectiveness of these resources consult the Active Learning Classroom (ALC) Twin Cities Web Site.