Citation: Walker, J. D., Brooks, C., & Baepler, P. (2011). Pedagogy and Space: Empirical Research on New Learning Environments. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 34(4). Retrieved fromhttp://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolu...
Summary: A continuation of an earlier study of active learning classrooms. Most earlier results hold. Active learning rooms are best used when the pedagogy is also directed at active learning.
- Replicated original investigation into Active Learning Classrooms
- Examined whether or not adapting an instructional approach to fit the space would influence student learning outcomes.
- Holding pedagogical approach constant, what is the relationship between the type of learning space and student learning outcomes, instructor and student behavior, and student perceptions of the learning experience?
- Holding the learning space constant, what is the relationship between the type of pedagogical approach and student learning outcomes, and student perceptions of the learning experience?
- Active Learning Classrooms at the U of MN
- Large circular tables seating nine students with microphones to help in large group discussion. Includes a button to indicate when they need help or wish to speak.
- Students bring their own laptops to class.
- Students display work on LCD screens around the room.
- White boards are along the walls.
- In both BIOL 1003 and PSTL 1131 teaching in an ALC had a positive effect on student learning outcomes as measured by course grades.
- Despite attempts to create identical instructional environments in both class sections, the instructor behaved differently in the two rooms being examined. In a traditional classroom, she spent more time at the podium. In an ALC, she spent more time away from a podium and consulted more often with individuals and small groups.
- There was more discussion, group activity, and consulting in the ALC. There was less lecture and Q&A.
- Students perceived that the ALC setting provided more engagement, enrichment, flexibility, and a better fit with the course.
- Instructor felt that the ALC room made it difficult to lecture.
- Students in both lecture and active learning classes got better than expected grades (based on ACT scores), but the active learning students increased by a grade of B- to B on average.
- No matter what their ACT scores, students improved their learning in the ALC classroom.
- Consider refitting older learning spaces to be more like ALCs to improve student learning outcomes and increase student satisfaction.
- Be aware that teaching in an ALC-style classroom can make traditional teaching methods difficult. So when teaching in an ALC, it's best to incorporate active learning techniques and approaches when teaching.
- Align pedagogy with the learning space.