Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces
- Layout: Students can work individually (or in teams) at large, shared tables with ample work surfaces for notebooks, laptops, and textbooks.
- Furniture: Adjustable height computer monitors and adjustable-height chairs for optimal comfort.
- Technologies: Access to infrastructure: desktop computers (1:1 student-computer ratio) and power for student laptops, networked printing with printer in room. Access to resources: LMS, internet, software.
- Acoustics: Design includes acoustic panels to avoid distraction.
- Lighting/colour: Appropriate overhead and natural lighting for individual work during or outside of class time.
Learning with Peers
- Layout: Oblong, wing-shaped table layout permits students to move easily from small group to larger group aspects of an assignment, as students at each table can work together as a group of 8, or in smaller groups of 2 or 4. Students are able to easily circulate in the classroom.
- Furniture: The oblong tables permit collaborative approaches to coursework, and improved communication (both verbally and line-of-sight), especially compared to the former long rows of computer workstations.
- Technologies: Shared workspaces include writable whiteboards, and students can also share their computer screens due to large monitors, or project a computer screen’s image on the whiteboard surface nearest their table).
- Acoustics: Sound zones by table support multiple simultaneous student conversations.
- Lighting/colour: Tall windows bring in natural light.
Experiences with Faculty
- Layout: Instructor’s podium is integrated into one of the student tables to reduce hierarchy. The instructor has access to all students due to a layout that permits ample passing space, and clear sightlines.
- Furniture: Tables are easily accessible and have sufficient space surrounding them for the instructor to check in with a given group.
- Technologies: Multiple projecting surfaces around the classroom permit display of different learning materials.
- Acoustics: Sound zones ensure that not only are students able to hear the instructor, but that the instructor is also able to hear the students.
- Lighting/colour: Lighting patterns provide a bright, pleasant environment and support multiple types of teaching tasks.
- University standards have been applied. IT is consistent with teaching and learning needs, and durable furniture contributes to sustainability efforts.
- Designed for all populations using the space: well-lit, with room controls and equipment that meets the needs of the students and instructors. Coat-hooks are provided for outerwear.
- Students have access to this learning space outside of class time to work collaboratively or individually on assignments that use the specialized software installed on the computers.
- Classrooms that incorporate elements of active and collaborative learning are part of a vision for campus learning spaces of many different sizes.
High-Impact Practices (HIPs)
- Both physical and virtual affordances help maximize HIPs for student learning within and beyond this classroom.
Photograph before renovation