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Whiteside, A. L., Brooks, D. C., & Walker, J. D. (2010). Making the Case for Space: Three Years of Empirical Research on Learning Environments EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(3).

Key Takeaways:

- Students attending classes in the University of Minnesota's new, technology-enhanced learning spaces exceeded final grade expectations relative to their ACT scores, suggesting strongly that features of the spaces contributed to their learning.

- First-year and sophomore students as well as students from metropolitan areas rated the new learning spaces significantly higher than their upper-division and rural counterparts in terms of engagement, enrichment, effectiveness, flexibility, fit, and instructor use.

- Different learning environments affect teaching-learning activities even when instructors attempt to hold these activities constant.

- Although assignment types greatly affect the study environments students select, in choosing informal study spaces students fall into routines early and are reluctant to deviate from them even if they are not meeting their study goals.

Whiteside, A. L., & Dikkers, A. G. (2010). Transforming Teaching in High-Tech, Collaborative Learning Environments with Critical Reflection

Educause Quarterly, 33(3).

Key Takeaways:

- Teaching in high-tech learning environments that center on collaboration and team-based learning often requires a complete course redesign and great deal of faculty time.

- One solution for helping faculty centers on critical reflection during the course, including finding support resources, recommending tools or technologies, adhering to a plan, and focusing on change in small increments.

- Critical reflection is immediately useful, flexible, and cost-effective, with the benefits of reengaging faculty members in their content and their teaching, maximizing the affordance of the learning environment, and enhancing the overall learning experience.

Campus Technology

Demski, J. (2011). Taking Next-Gen Classrooms Beyond the Pilot: How the University of Minnesota moved its Active Learning Classroom concept to prime time. Campus Technology

Technology-Enabled Classroom Design:

The ALC pilot rooms put the university at the forefront of next-generation classroom design. Constructed in 2007, the rooms were inspired by the Student-Centered Active Learning Project for Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) at North Carolina State University and MIT's Technology-Assisted Active Learning (TEAL) project. Both programs create spaces conducive to hands-on learning and small-group interactions among students, by utilizing modular furniture, perimeter-spanning whiteboards, and multiple LCD displays linked to student and faculty laptops throughout the room.

Active Learning Classrooms

Excerpt on Active Learning Classroom at UC Berkely:

"Active learning classrooms (ALC) are teaching and learning spaces that allow faculty to move their course design beyond the lecture. The room design, flexible furniture, writing surfaces, and technology, support professors in engaging with their students through the integrated use of media and collaborative learning activities. Active learning classrooms facilitate diverse sizes and groupings of students, creating a flexible and supportive environment for a class to transition seamlessly between a professor's lecture and facilitated student group work. These rooms enable options for supporting the myriad of ways in which professors teach and students learn."

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