With the growth in popularity of active learning methodologies, educators and institutions alike are looking for ways to adapt their learning spaces to allow for approaches such as collaborative learning. In addition to having the right kind of active learning furniture, there are a number of other issues to consider, including lighting, instructor placement and proper wireless internet access.
One useful way to approach this challenge is through the four Cs of active learning spaces:
- Collaboration – A significant component of successful active learning is the students’ ability to engage effectively with one another.
- Creativity – How well does the space allow students to think innovatively?
- Communication – If students can’t communicate with one another or the instructor effectively, successful outcomes aren’t terribly likely.
- Critical thinking – Active learning practiced effectively isn’t so much about students regurgitating material – it has more to do with students discovering the answer on their own, about reasoning through problems. The right setting and environment will be conducive to this.
Take these factors into consideration, and you may find it easier to visualize how your active learning space might be arranged.