The Active-Learning Classroom (ALC) in Arts & Sciences (Eads 016) was designed to foster collaborative learning in a variety of class formats and disciplines. A joint project of Arts & Sciences and The Teaching Center, the development of the ALC was supported by the Annual Fund.
The ALC design combines “low-tech” tools, such as chalkboards, with multimedia technology that is flexible and intuitive for faculty and students to use. In addition to the standard classroom-multimedia system, the ALC is outfitted with nine tables seating up to six students each, with 46-inch monitors and ports for connection of tablet PCs or student laptops at each table. Students can therefore work in small groups on problems or discussion topics, then present the results of their work to their group or to the entire class.
The flexible classroom design has already been utilized in diverse ways by faculty and students in Biology, Chemistry, General Studies, and Mathematics—as well as the summer program of the Digital Humanities Workshop.
To learn more, please read this article in the WUSTL Record and watch the linked video, featuring a description of the room by Gina Frey, Florence E. Moog Professor of STEM Education in Chemistry, and co-Director of CIRCLE.
Faculty who are interested in scheduling a course, or a supplemental class meeting such as a recitation or help session, in the ALC should contact the Office of the University Registrar. The ALC is not available for events or for student-led activities. It may be reserved by faculty for evening and weekend courses only after approval from The Teaching Center. In addition, it cannot be reserved for a few isolated class sessions; all classes scheduled in the room will be scheduled there the entire semester.
The ALC has been the subject of two conference presentations:
Lutes, Bryn L.; Kundel, Mitchell A; “Using Group Work and Blackboard to Improve Analytical and Discussion Skills.” Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference, Saint Louis, MO, October 25, 2013.
Lutes, Bryn L. “A Flexible, Intuitive Classroom Design that Lowers Barriers to Incorporating Active Learning.” National Forum on Active Learning Classrooms, Minneapolis, MN, August 10, 2013.