Active learning classrooms and other active learning spaces are spaces designed to promote active, engaged, and collaborative student learning. While you can utilize active learning techniques in any type of classroom, having a space designed to facilitate those techniques can greatly support your efforts to successfully integrate them into your course.
Active learning classrooms often include flexible furniture to facilitate collaboration and multiple projector screens to allow optimal viewing in any part of the space. They are often intentionally de-centered, meaning that there is no “front desk” or podium at which you will sit or stand. The effect of de-centering the space is that students feel a greater sense of agency and take more initiative in discussions and projects. On UCF’s campus, a host of these classrooms is now available:
- Mathematical Sciences Building, Room 350
- Most classrooms in the Teaching Academy
- Trevor Colbourn Hall
- Classroom Building 1, Room 205
- Classroom Building 1, Room 220 (The Sandbox)
- Classroom Building 1, 3rd-floor classrooms
- Business Administration 1, Room 207
- Business Administration 1, Room 238
- All classrooms on the UCF Downtown campus.
Take a look at these resources on active learning spaces to get practical advice on the adjustments required from teaching in traditional spaces:
- Download the Faculty Center’s list of tips for teaching in flexible learning spaces
- The University of Minnesota’s Center for Educational Innovation website is full of suggestions for addressing challenges and planning courses in active learning classrooms. https://cei.umn.edu/teaching-active-learning-classroom-alc
- Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning provides history and research about active learning classrooms. https://ctl.yale.edu/faculty-resources/managing-classroom/active-learning-classrooms
- For a collaborative site that brings together practitioners, experts, and decision makers in higher education (and K-12), see flexspace.org. You have to create an account to access the material, but it’s free.