ITS recently renovated Diamond 123 using a similar technology-enabled active learning layout as was completed in Miller 8 last year. Included are four breakout areas with large monitors for students to work together in groups. Students may connect to the monitors wirelessly to share what is on their computer screens or mobile devices. Up to four connected screens may be displayed on each breakout monitor simultaneously. There is also a ceiling-mounted classroom projector that permits wireless projection connections. Instructions for connecting devices are displayed on the monitors when they power up. The classroom furniture features tables and chairs on casters that may be easily moved from a traditional seminar room arrangement to the various breakout stations.
The purpose of an active learning classroom (ALC) layout is specifically to support a “student-centered, technology-rich learning environment.” While these types of layouts are diverse, all exhibit some similarities. For example, they usually feature seating arrangements where students can face each other rather than an instructor in the front of a room and when these breakout areas are in use, ALCs tend to become louder than typical classrooms as students interact. The installed technology also frequently allows instructors to spotlight individual student or group work.