Tag Archives: learning spaces

Classroom opportunities for using student response tools

As the enrollment of a class increases, the ability to elicit student feedback and provide a personalized learning experience without assistance becomes increasing more challenging. Student response tools (also known as student response systems, class response system, polling software, clickers, etc…) include any application that allows for the input of individual or group responses that can […]

Engaging with a Classroom

I was in a meeting recently where the Field of Dreams quote “If you built it they will come” was used to emphasize how much more is needed that just the creation of a space when trying to foster active learning in a classroom. Innovative spaces, without faculty and student support, fail to deliver the curricular […]

Opportunities for Synchronous Learning in an Online Course

Last week I wrote about the changes that occur when synchronous elements are introduced to a previously asynchronous online course. Broad course themes (flexibility, accountability, and community) are shaken when a course includes live, interactive opportunities between students and the instructor. While synchronous events can prove powerful, without intent they can dissolve into two people […]

Classroom Reconsidered: Mary Morton Parsons Courtyard

What happens when students are removed from the norms and expectations of the classroom? Without a focal point of instruction (lectern, teaching wall, instructor, etc.) where do students director their attention and energies? Does a novel environment inhibit or enhance the learning experience? Part of my interest in classroom spaces is to challenge the preconception […]

Classroom Reconsidered: 2122 Oliver Hall

Despite the complexities of scheduling, not all university classrooms are multi-purpose. Many, even those without specialized equipment, are outfitted and reserved for specific course sequences and disciplines. Stepping into 2122 Oliver Hall on the VCU campus it was clear that this room, while in many ways similar to 328 Hibbs Hall, was equipped for courses […]

An outdoor discussion circle

During the spring semester, while walking by Harris hall on the VCU campus, I would notice classes gathering in an area otherwise designated for public use. In front of the building, on a large brick walkway, are six iron benches affixed to the ground in a circle. With nothing more than seating, this space has […]

Seating habits, territoriality, and the impact of active learning

Habit is a strong force. Good habits are lauded while billions are spent to cure the bad ones. What about those in between? What roles do the seemingly innocuous daily rituals and behaviors play in our lives? Does something as seemingly innocent as selecting a seat significantly impact the learning experience? I’ve long found habitual […]

Moving a Class Towards Digital Integration

Online presence can bring with it varying degrees of commitment. Having a social media account that lies dormant or blog without fresh content is more an act of online absence than presence. Maintaining a frequent connection to online reflections of one’s self is seemingly a better attempt at presence but a key factor is often […]