Alignment with Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces
- Layout: Students can work individually (or in teams) at large, X-shaped tables with ample work surfaces for conducting physics experiments, as well as for placing notebooks, laptops, and textbooks.
- Furniture: Adjustable-height stools for optimal comfort.
- Technologies: Access to infrastructure: power for student laptops, networked printing. Access to resources: LMS, internet. Multiple sources (Sympodium, document camera) and screens for simultaneous display of different learning materials.
- Lighting/colour: Appropriate overhead and natural lighting for individual work during or outside of laboratory session.
Learning with Peers
- Layout: A layout with 5 large, X-shaped tables permit students to move easily from small group to larger group portions of a laboratory 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 table layout permits collaborative approaches to coursework, and improved communication (both verbally and line-of-sight). The standing-height tables with stools support student movement as experiments are set up, conducted and observed. Built-in support structures above the table allow experiments to take advantage of vertical dimensions of the classroom space.
- Technologies: Shared workspaces include multiple blackboards.
- Acoustics: Sound zones by table support multiple simultaneous conversations among students.
- Lighting/colour: Windows bring in natural light.
Experiences with Faculty
- Layout: Instructor’s podium is located towards the centre of the room and is not overly large, 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. Standardized room controls permit instructors to become familiar with a system for managing the technology used in multiple classrooms.
- Teaching labs 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.