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Active Learning Classrooms (ALC)

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Opening Fall 2013

Lara Swimmer photo, alc141

Active learning classrooms (ALC) is a joint ventures between UW-IT Classroom Technologies and Events (CTE) formerly Classroom Support Services, the University Libraries, and UW-IT Learning Technologies (LT).  If you have questions or would like more information, contact ougl@uw.edumailto link or subscribe to the ALC listserv, alcs_at_ougl@u.washington.edu.

What is an active learning classroom? ALCs can be described as interactive, interdisciplinary spaces where information and technology are combined to facilitate scholarship. Educators are provided with a unique opportunity to explore how space and technology can promote student learning. Active learning classrooms support case-based learning, guided inquiry, peer learning and just-in-time learning, all of which are increasingly the basis for how classes are taught. Student-centered pedagogy is promoted and students are encouraged to build on prior understanding to solve problems, critically evaluate solutions and create new knowledge.

ALC benefits:

  • Student collaboration, each student is part of a small group or team
  • Information can be shared between teams and tables for comparative purposes
  • Facilitates peer teaching
  • Students are able to showcase their work; share with others and post to a larger community
  • Instructors can easily monitor student progress and guide inquiry
  • Outside experts can join the classroom experience through advanced
    technologies and engage with the students
  • Emulates the team-based approach commonly found in today’s high-tech workplaces.

ALC features:

  • Writable glass-surfaces for each group of students
  • Round tables that accommodate nine students
  • Flat-panel monitors at each table
  • Network (wireless) and power connectivity at each table
  • A limited number of data ports (wired connectivity)
  • Instructor podium that allows selection and display of table-specific information
  • Data diner booths equipped with flat-panel monitors for breakout sessions
  • Microphones available at both the instructor podium and student tables.

See what an active learning classroom looks like in action


Video credits: produced by Austin Siedentopf
See Chinese 101 in action at 3:13 mark.