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The Active Learning Makeover: Don’t Discount Ugly Rooms

Using older rooms for an active learning environment makeover
Sometimes the most underutilized spaces on campus are the ideal testing grounds for active learning. Even if the space seems unfit, cluttered, small, or outdated, the main goal is to provide an environment where students can easily interact.
Think outside the box. Experiment with extra furniture and available rooms. The latest technology isn’t always crucial when the goal is for peers to interact and build upon ideas. The aesthetics of the space becomes less important when students are engaged enough, which is the ultimate goal of any instructor.
It’s also worth pointing out that starting with an underutilized space – especially if that space is considered the ugly duckling by your users – gives you at least two advantages. One: you’re likely to encounter less resistance to making significant changes than you would if you were to start with a particularly popular area of your facility. Two: you might be more likely to improve user satisfaction – if the room is that disliked, it can only improve.
When it comes right down to it, there are really only two absolutely necessary aspects to creating an active learning classroom: furniture that can be moved around to encourage group collaboration and the opportunity for students to work together.
(Source: Campus Technology)