Collaborative Classrooms

Motivations, Organization, and Outcomes

Topics: Online Course Quality, Online Education, Academic Affairs, Student Retention and Success, Space Utilization, Facilities and Operations, Administration and Finance

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This research project investigates how institutions implement and structure collaborative, pod-style classrooms for residential and videoconference courses. The report provides information on class and group size, classroom layout, collaborative technologies, course assignments, and training for faculty instructors.

This report also assesses how courses instructed in collaborative classrooms impacts student learning outcomes, pedagogical practices, and institutional priorities.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Collaborative classrooms facilitate student learning, improve pedagogical methods, and increase institutional emphasis on effective teaching.

    2. Most institutions instruct only residential courses in collaborative classrooms; four profiled institutions offer blended and videoconference courses to both residential and distance students.

    3. Students typically sit in groups of six or nine and employ personal laptops, Apple TVs, web cameras, video projectors, movable whiteboards, and wall monitors to facilitate group work and class discussion.

    4. Provide comprehensive faculty development and training to properly equip faculty with technology training, active teaching strategies, and strong course design practices.