While active learning can occur in any space, flexible classroom design, ample space per student, and supportive technology can expand the scope and kind of active learning strategies an instructor can effectively deploy. The goal of the infrastructure component of the active learning initiative is to transform learning spaces into spaces that make student thinking and learning visible to both instructors and peers to facilitate active learning. The aim is not to equip every classroom on campus in this way. Instead, the target is to identify classrooms where an investment to renovate will have the most impact. In keeping with current best practices for active learning classroom design, UGA has focused on three areas of enhancement.
Active Learning Classroom Enhancements
25 Square Feet Per Student
Though active learning can take place in every classroom, learning spaces that allow for more room for each student increase the flexibility for instructors wishing to use a variety of active learning approaches in the space.
An active learning classroom should have mobile furniture to provide seating or working arrangements flexibility. Ideally, an active learning classroom would offer mobile chairs and tables, but at minimum, chairs should be mobile.
Student Collaboration Tools
Besides furniture that can be moved to most readily foster peer engagement, other tools in the classroom may facilitate discussions, project-based learning, and other active learning methods. Though many disciplines benefit from dry-erase boards and screens, instructors can choose various student collaboration tools in an active learning classroom.