Learning Technologies

Active Learning Classrooms at UWB



Introduction to ALCs

University of Washington Seattle's Active Learning Classroom picture
(UW Seattle's Active Learning Classroom)

Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) are spaces that are conducive to active learning where students are actively engaged in course activities, such as problem solving, discussions, group work, and reading and writing, in contrast to a standard lecture class where the student is more passive. There are several models of ALCs. Click here to learn more!

ALCs are designed to:

  • Facilitate collaboration and group work
  • Enhance faculty and student interactions
  • Provide support for students to invest in their own learning
  • Create a more welcoming and egalitarian space

[Return to Top of Page]


Characteristics of an ALC include:

  • Flexible
    Movable chairs and tables (typically on wheels), different types of furniture shapes (cafe tables, soft chairs, etc.), and flexible computer access.
  • Multipurpose workspaces
    Adequate workspaces for laptops, note-taking, and whiteboards, as well as adequate space around workspaces for students and faculty to move around the room.
  • Highly conducive to sharing information
    Wall-mounted whiteboards, writable wall paint of glass surfaces, movable whiteboards, screen sharing technology, interactive whiteboards, and flexible presentation technology.
  • A welcoming, student-centered space
    Good light (natural light, if possible), windows, good acoustics, a variety of types of furniture for students to use, a diminished or no ePodium to allow for more faculty and student interaction.

[Return to Top of Page]


Importance of ALCs:

  • Student learning outcomes and student perceptions of the learning experience can change to reflect a more positive outlook on acquiring, exercising, and using new knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  • These classrooms help to promote innovative teaching methodologies due to the reduction of lecturing in favor of other unique teaching techniques and programs.
  • ALCs can help attract innovative faculty and students and make classroom spaces more inviting for students.
  • These classrooms can promote UWB as a student-centered institution and help maintain UWB's reputation as an innovative university that continues to hold paramount the faculty and student relationship.

[Return to Top of Page]


UWB Active Learning Classrooms

Work is currently being done on implementing some active learning design principles into classrooms. While there are different ALC models which we can consider for implementation at UWB, making classrooms flexible and highly conducive to sharing information so as to support group work and faculty-student collaboration should be an important consideration for all classrooms.

(Discovery Hall - 235)

A typical 30 to 60 seat (and possibly larger) UWB classroom could include:

  • Chairs and tables that are mobile and easy to move and rearrange
  • Varied classroom designs and furniture, which could include round tables, different seating arrangements, and different types of chairs
  • Whiteboard space on walls and mobile whiteboards
  • Presentation technology
  • Mobile microphones for lecture capture

Other considerations for selected classrooms would include implementing technology that facilitates collaboration, such as:

  • Screen sharing technology
  • Multiple projection displays, such as LCD screens mounted in various locations
  • Mobile laptop carts, which can easily be used in a ALC
  • Mobile teaching infrastructure that can allow faculty to use mobile devices to teach and project course content
  • Technology infrastructure (power, network access, etc.) that helps the tools meld seamlessly with classroom teaching and learning

[Return to Top of Page]