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Wednesday, June 18 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
CON1.09 – Transforming Classroom Spaces for Active and Collaborative Learning (Room A237)

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There is large and growing body of evidence that shows active learning can have a positive impact upon students learning outcomes such as increased content knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and positive attitudes towards learning in comparison to traditional lecture-based delivery (Anderson et al., 2005). Active learning facilitates greater enthusiasm for learning, in both students and instructors (Thaman et al., 2013), and the development of graduate capabilities, such as critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, adaptability, communication and interpersonal skills (Kember & Leung 2005). There is also literature which suggests that teaching spaces can have a large impact on the ability to incorporate active learning teaching strategies (Chism & Bickford, 2002; Oblinger, 2006; Walker et al., 2011). In the winter of 2014, three recently renovated classrooms at Queen’s University designed for active and collaborative learning were used for the first time. One of the primary goals of redesigning classroom space was to evaluate how teaching spaces can facilitate changes in approaches to teaching and transform student learning experiences. The purpose of this panel is to learn about the design considerations, configurations and technology available in each of the three new active learning classrooms and to hear from faculty members who have chosen to teach in them.


This session will begin with an overview of the three classrooms by the Moderator and Educational Developer responsible for the support and assessment of the new active learning classrooms. Next, each of the panelists will discuss how the classroom design and features influenced their approach to teaching and comment on the effect it had on their students’ experience. The panelists chosen for this session each used one of the new classrooms and are characterized as follows: experienced faculty members teaching a familiar course normally taught in traditional classrooms, an experienced faculty member teaching a newly designed course, and a new instructor teaching for the first time. Questions to each of the panelists will include:  What influence did the space have on how your course was designed and taught? Can you give an example of what worked particularly well? What aspects of the space do you believe contributed the most to enhancing student experience and student learning? What surprised you about the space and how it influenced your class? What are some of the teaching and learning strategies that you used that you could not in other traditional classrooms? What was the reaction of your students to the space and the strategies that you used? What do you wish you had known before teaching in the active learning classrooms? What advice would you give other instructors teaching in these rooms for the first time? If you were to build another classroom for active learning to help you transform your course, what would it look like?


This panel will allow participants to hear about and ask questions regarding the design aspects of three new active learning classrooms, consider the configuration and the technology available in each room, and discuss the opportunities, advantages and challenges of the teaching strategies that were used in these spaces.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 1:30pm - 2:20pm EDT
A237 McArthur Hall

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