In January, the University of North Carolina's (UNC) School of Media and Journalism will open a future-forward classroom that fosters collaboration and student-centered teaching, Tim Goral writes for University Business.
In a recent article, Goral interviews Gary Kayye, a professor at UNC and president of rAVe [Publications], about the new classroom. .
The design of the new classroom disrupts traditional teaching styles, Kayye argues. In the new space, professors who usually rely on PowerPoint lectures will learn how to support a more student-oriented discussion, he says.
The classroom's multiple interactive displays encourage students to ask questions and engage with the material on different mediums. For example, when a student asks a question during a presentation, the professor can easily pull up Google or YouTube without minimizing their presentation, Kayye explains.
As technology evolves, so must our teaching style and classroom design, Kayye argues. In reality, many professors are teaching a new type of student who has never lived without a smartphone.
How to build active learning spaces that support today's teaching strategies
It's unrealistic to ask these students to leave that technology behind during class, Kayye says. Instead, institutions must find ways to integrate technology in the classroom and use it to complement the discussion, rather than distract from it, he adds.
For some universities, innovative classroom designs have increased attendance and retention, Diane Peters wrote in an article for University Affairs.
At Wilfrid Laurier University's Waterloo campus in Canada, for example, an active learning classroom called the "green room" consists of white boards on all four walls of the room, student screen projection capabilities, plus laptops and pods on each round table accommodating up to 40 students. Since the green room opened in 2012, Gavin Brockett, an associate professor of history and religion, has seen his attendance climb from 40% to 90% (Goral, University Business, 12/14).
Related: What do students want from technology?
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