What are Active Learning Classrooms?
Active learning classrooms (ALCs) are learning spaces that have been designed to facilitate and promote active learning. Research on learning space design has demonstrated that the design of a classroom has impact upon the way in which students and instructors interact and engage in teaching and learning.
Active learning strategies often involve complex, student-centered interactions between professors, students, local, and global communities. The physical space of an ALC promotes and encourages these interactions though accessible and flexible classroom design.
Some examples include…
- Collaborative workstations that give students the flexibility to work individually, in pairs, or teams.
- Mobile tables and chairs that allow for easy adaption of the space given varying numbers of students and activities
- Technology-enabled environments that facilitate brainstorming or visual problem solving
- Active Learning Classrooms project at McGill University
- "Learning Space Design: Theory and Practice" by Malcolm Brown, Dartmouth College (PDF 50 KB)
- "Designing Spaces for Active Learning" by Aimee Whiteside and Steve Fitzgerald, University of Minnesota (PDF 1.3 MB)
- "A Philosophical Approach to Classroom Design - Five Basic Principles" Georgia Institute of Technology (74 KB)