Active Learning


Active learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process.  Bean (2011) states that active learning classrooms are intentionally designed incorporate interest-provoking writing and critical thinking activities into courses that encourage inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate.

Click here to see faculty discussing their perspectives of using the active learning spaces.

Active Learning Characteristics
  •      Collaborative learning—students working during class in small groups with shared laptop computers
  •      Desktop experiments with data acquisition links to laptops
  •      Media-rich visualizations and simulations delivered via laptops and the Internet
  •      Personal response systems that stimulate  interaction between students and lecturers 
Active Learning Activities
  •      Flexibility
  •      Interactivity
  •      Formal and Informal
  •      Foster collaboration
  •      Group activities captured
  •      Team Based
  •      Project Based
Active Learning Space Features     
  •      Round tables
  •      Interactivity
  •      Formal and informal
  •      Foster collaboration
  •      Group activities captured
  •      Team based
  •      Project based
Locations on Grounds

     Wilson 325

  • Classroom
  • 99 students
  • 10 tables/9 seats per table
  • 1 monitor
  • 3 large projectors
  • 9 whiteboards

     Monroe 134

  • Classroom
  • 45 students
  • 5 tables/9 seats per table
  • 5 monitors
  • 1 large projector
  • 5 whiteboards

     Gibson 341

  • Classroom
  • 30 students
  • 5 tables/6seats per table
  • 1 monitor
  • 1 large projector
  • 5 whiteboards

Active Learning Space Series

Faculty teaching at the College, interested in learning more about engaging students in active learning spaces were invited to attend the active learning space series of conversations and demonstrations. Watch the presentations below which discussed features of the space to gain insights about how to create an engaging environment in your class. 

Introduction to Active Learning Spaces

Presentation By:

     -Andreas Gahlmann, Chemistry; Matthew Street, Spanish; Gail Hunger, Learning Design & Technology


Student Centered Learning & Problem Based Learning

Presentation By: Kelsey Johnson, Astronomy; Jessica Curran, Statistics; Gail Hunger, Learning Design & Technology


Tools & Strategies

Presentation By: John Echeverri-Gent, Political Science; Paul Bourdon, Mathematics; Gail Hunger, Learning Design & Technology




Bean, J.C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass