they are easily identified with their large student tables and moveable seating designed to facilitate and promote active learning. alcs also have a teaching station that allows the instructor to select and project and highlight student work from any particular table. since 2007, the research and evaluation team at cei has collaborated with the office of classroom management (ocm) and other central units to conduct an ongoing research on new learning spaces. in one biology class, a section was taught in an alc while another section was taught in a traditional classroom. students in the active learning space had significantly lower act scores than students in the traditional setting, predicting that the course grades they could expect to earn would be lower as well.
students’ answers to free-response survey questions confirmed this result by describing ways in which the alc helped them in their learning tasks. two sections of a family social science course taught in an alc one year apart were compared to isolate the effects of a change in pedagogy. data suggest that students performed better on assessments in an alc when the pedagogy was transformed from a traditional model (teacher-centered, lecture-based) to a collaborative and active learning model. we compared a large chemistry course (300+ students) taught in a traditional theatre-style classroom that met 3 times a week to the same course taught by the same instructor that met in a smaller alc working on problem solving one time a week and watching recorded lectures. this meant that the impact of an alc classroom can be multiplied at least threefold because instead of being used three times a week to achieve a learning outcome, it need only be used once a week to achieve the same effect. we developed and validated an instrument, the social context and learning environments (scale) survey, to measure social interactions in the classroom.
classrooms in the center for teaching and learning offer similar flexible learning arrangements, intended to promote active learning, collaborative problem-solving, and other team-based work. alc designs at places like yale, mit, and the university of minnesota are largely modeled after scale-up, a classroom approach designed by robert beichner at north carolina state university in the mid-1990s. later studies confirmed the effect of physically different space on teaching styles: active learning approaches significantly improved student exam marks and satisfaction in an alc over a traditional classroom, while lectures proved more successful in traditional classrooms (baepler 2016). more recent studies underscore that teaching methods (active learning) and analog features (flexible seating and whiteboards) have a far greater effect on student motivation, learning outcomes, and collaboration than digital and high tech features (see studies cited in baepler, et. students have responded positively to the collaborative seating arrangements and active learning table exercises more than digital plug-ins and displays (soneral and wyse, 2017, and stoltzfus, et. “chapter 5: assignments and activities” and “chapter 6: managing student groups,” in a guide to teaching in the active learning classroom: history, research, and practice.
baepler, p, walker, j.d., brooks, d.c., saichaie, k, and petersen, c. 2016. a guide to teaching in the active learning classroom: history, research, and practice. reviews in per: research-based reform of university physics. e. f. redish and p.j. brooks, d. c. 2012. space and consequences: the impact of different formal learning spaces on instructor and student behavior. : active learning in traditional and enhanced lecture spaces. the poorvu center for teaching and learning routinely supports members of the yale community with individual instructional consultations and classroom observations.
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active learning classrooms (alcs) are student-centered, technology-rich classrooms. they are easily identified with their large student tables and moveable active learning classrooms (alcs) are spaces configured to maximize active, collaborative learning and multimodal teaching, in contrast with traditional this type of classroom allows the instructor to move beyond the traditional lecture format and engage students in participatory learning activities. features of, google docs, google classroom for education, ap classroom, google meet.
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