The Pharmacy program, ITSS, and external consultants are
designing Library 410 to offer active learning classroom
features as well as video conferencing. Initial implementation
will be complete by the beginning of Spring semester.
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
Library 410 Adapted to Pharmacy Needs
The emerging "Information Commons" concept in the Library is a
perfect context for our next move into active learning classrooms.
Funded by a special grant from the Pharmacy program, this room will
address the unique needs of a program split across two campuses. In
addition to the typical components of an active learning classroom,
the School of Pharmacy needed to have a strong video conferencing
component. Faculty, staff, and students from the program have been
working with Classroom Technology Services, ITSS, and external
consultants to design and implement a room that will do both
teaching modes well.
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
Additional Library 410 Features to Accommodate Video
- Collaborative tables designed to shift from group learning to
- Multiple cameras and displays at each "pod"
- Power and controls integrated into the furniture to
accommodate each student
- Motion tracking cameras for remote lecture
- Acoustic wall panels and ceiling tiles for tailored
- Support for traditional Interactive Television as well as
emerging technologies such as Google Hangouts.
We will use Spring semester to continue our needs assessment and
tweak the space to inform the second half of this project, which
will be a similar resource on the Twin Cities campus.
For an example how active learning has be implemented and research
findings regarding its effectiveness consult the Active
Learning Classroom (ALC) Twin Cities Web Site.