A Guide to Teaching in the Active Learning Classroom: History, Research, and Practice

Front Cover
While Active Learning Classrooms, or ALCs, offer rich new environments for learning, they present many new challenges to faculty because, among other things, they eliminate the room's central focal point and disrupt the conventional seating plan to which faculty and students have become accustomed.

The importance of learning how to use these classrooms well and to capitalize on their special features is paramount. The potential they represent can be realized only when they facilitate improved learning outcomes and engage students in the learning process in a manner different from traditional classrooms and lecture halls.

This book provides an introduction to ALCs, briefly covering their history and then synthesizing the research on these spaces to provide faculty with empirically based, practical guidance on how to use these unfamiliar spaces effectively. Among the questions this book addresses are:

* How can instructors mitigate the apparent lack of a central focal point in the space?

* What types of learning activities work well in the ALCs and take advantage of the affordances of the room?

* How can teachers address familiar classroom-management challenges in these unfamiliar spaces?

* If assessment and rapid feedback are critical in active learning, how do they work in a room filled with circular tables and no central focus point?

* How do instructors balance group learning with the needs of the larger class?

* How can students be held accountable when many will necessarily have their backs facing the instructor?

* How can instructors evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching in these spaces?

This book is intended for faculty preparing to teach in or already working in this new classroom environment; for administrators planning to create ALCs or experimenting with provisionally designed rooms; and for faculty developers helping teachers transition to using these new spaces.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2016)

Paul Baepler serves as a Research Fellow in the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) at the University of Minnesota, USA. His work has appeared in a variety of journals including Computers and Education, the Journal of College Science Teaching, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, the Journal of Faculty Development, and The New England Quarterly. Along with Brooks and Walker of this volume, he co-edited the Active Learning Spaces volume (#137) of New Directions for Teaching and Learning.

J.D. Walker is a Research Associate in the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) at the University of Minnesota, USA where his work focuses on investigating the impact of digital technologies and other educational innovations on student learning outcomes in higher education, as well as on student engagement and the faculty teaching experience.

D. Christopher Brooks serves as a Senior Research Fellow for the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR). His research appears in a range of scholarly journals including the British Journal of Educational Technology, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, The Journal of College Science Teaching, Evolution, the Journal of Political Science Education, and Social Science Quarterly, and in the edited volume Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Vol. 2.

Kem Saichaie is an Educational Specialist in the Center for Educational Effectiveness at the University of California, Davis, USA. Saichaie has published in a number of venues including The Journal of Higher Education, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Medical Teacher, New Directions in Teaching and Learning (Learning Spaces volume), New Directions in Institutional Research, and EDUCAUSE's Seeking Evidence of Impact series.

Christina Petersen is an Education Program Specialist in the Center for Educational Innovation at the University of Minnesota, USA. Petersen has published in Nature Neuroscience, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, and New Directions in Teaching and Learning.

Bibliographic information