Using the Experimental Classroom for Collaborative Group Work

Do you do group work in class?  Are you frustrated by the time spent moving tables and chairs to facilitate your groups?  The experimental classroom in Moody Hall 212 is designed to make it easy for students to work in groups.  The room features 25 moveable chairs with an integrated desk that can easily be moved around allowing students to quickly form groups. In addition, the room is equipped with “huddleboards” or small whiteboards for group use as well as the standard teacher’s computer station and display.

Rachael Neal, Michael Kart, Chris Mosier and Billy Earnest participating in a discussion
Rachael Neal, Michael Kart, Chris Mosier and Billy Earnest participating in a discussion

Chair with integrated desk on wheels
Chair with integrated desk on wheels

This flexible set up encourages a variety of active learning experiences for students.

  • language students can easily move between groups to practice their conversational skills with different partners
  • students can collaborate to produce solutions in problem-based learning exercises
  • instructors can lead students through a cooperative learning activity like the jigsaw technique in which students form teams to cover different areas of an assignment then recombine in mixed groups to assemble their knowledge

Several faculty taught in the room in the spring. Rachael Neal reports that her students were “super excited to have class discussions” in the room. Kim Garza thought being in the room brought her students together.

MH 212 is available for scheduling for individual classes or for the entire semester. To schedule MH 212 for an individual class, look in 25 Live for availability and schedule with Genevieve Bittson in Academic Affairs (gbittson@stedwards.edu).  To request the room for the full semester, please complete this form (directions for submission are on the form.

If you are interested in partnering with instructional technology to research how to best use the flexible classroom or some other new technology, please express your interest in this brief form: http://bit.ly/SEUpilots2015

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