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Teaching | Learning

Designing for Active Learners

Many would describe their classrooms as static rows of desks facing the instructor and chalkboard. Now that model is being turned on its head. A fundamental realignment of classroom real estate is taking place to energize the teaching experience where students are more engaged, collaborative and creative.

Today, classrooms are striving to accommodate a range of learning modes. They need to be reconfigured often for lectures, group work and individual assignments. These different styles happen quickly and on the fly, often during the same period and at the same time. As a result, desks, seating and worksurfaces that are mobile and flexible get the highest grades. Adapting easily to different teaching and learning preferences is the new prerequisite for the active learning environment.

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Insights

 Create zones for different learning modes to support engagement, exploration, explanation and evaluation

 No matter where students are seated, they need a direct view of the instructor, course content and other students. Similarly, instructors need physical access to every student.

 Design for quick ownership change so classrooms adapt to changing users and class requirements.