Learning Classroom Models


Flexible classrooms characteristics can be incorporated into a variety of classroom models, which can range from a slight tweaking of current classroom designs to radical redesigns. Below are some models, which can help inform classroom design at UWB.

Low Technology Model

For UWB, making classrooms flexible to support group work and faculty-student collaboration can be done in a relatively low-stakes, budget-friendlier way. This model includes movable tables and chairs (typically on wheels), different classroom configurations, extensive use of white and/or glass boards (fixed or mobile), a reduced ePodium presence, and wireless microphones for recording lectures. These models can be used in 30-seat to 60-seat UWB classrooms. Here are a few examples of this model:

  1. Round table configuration

  2. Traditional (yet mobile) tables with varying heights

  3. Node-style chairs

  4. Large lecture format

  5. Fully flexible spaces

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Integrated Technology Model

This model leverages technology to provide additional opportunities for innovation, communication, and active learning. The technology used in this model include screen sharing hardware/software, multiple computer display options, and the use of mobile devices. The podium may be moved away from the front of the room or entirely removed. Round tables that seat 6 to 9 students are typically used. Some ALCs may contain breakout spaces. Here are some examples:

  1. University of Washington Seattle

  2. University of Minnesota

  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Future Flexible Classroom models

There are some interesting explorations of space design, which may information the design of future active learning classrooms. A key characteristic of emerging models is the focus on interdisciplinarity. As a campus, we should monitor these trends and consider opportunities to design a profoundly different classroom that could host courses from different disciplines being taught jointly or cooperatively. Here is an example:

  1. “Spacecubed” (1/3 social, 1/3 technology, 1/3 corporate)

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