Special classrooms allow greater learning experience for students

UMD has already created special classrooms and is in the process of creating more. These classrooms will not only include multiple cameras, displays and motion tracking, but also acoustic walls and video-conferencing technology.

Last March, Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) announced its first active-learning classroom in Lib 410. This state-of-the-art classroom a collaboration of the Pharmacy Department, ITSS, Classroom Technology Services and Facilities Management.

 There are currently five active learning classrooms on the UMD campus, which include SCC 21, ABAH 445, SSB 216 and KPLZ 175. Each of these classrooms is unique and offers different technologies and amenities.

Some of the active learning classroom features include plenty of whiteboard space, multiple display projection systems, round tables or "pods" that each accommodate six to nine students, and a centered teaching station with controls that allow display from any of the pods in the room.

“The active classroom is designed to flip over the learning experience for students here at UMD,” said Jason Davis, ITSS Academic Support and Finance manager. “It is not a normal classroom where the professor lectures to students and students sitting toward the front of the room.”

One of the classrooms that uses the Automated Video Conferencing on campus is Lib 410. The classroom that uses the pods is SSB 216.

Right now only the pharmacy and biology departments are using the active learning classrooms, but their use is potentially going to spread throughout all of the departments at UMD.

Many universities have been working on classroom layout, technology and user-support models to try to make active learning more central to the classroom experience.

Davis said the Twin Cities campus has already implemented active learning classrooms on its campus.

“There are researches that show that the active learning classrooms have higher learning outcomes than normal lecture classrooms,” Davis said.

For more information students can visit: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/classroom/active/ or contact Jason Davis, jdavis@umn.edu.



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