News story

Active learning spaces

Many studies have shown active learning approaches to improve learning outcomes, pass rates, attendance and student satisfaction. The project team here at the University of Surrey is trialling active learning spaces in the central teaching rooms.

The Active Learning Spaces project team here at the University of Surrey is a cross departmental group comprising of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning (DTEL),  Department of Higher Education (DHE), Central Teaching Spaces, AV services, the Library, and Timetabling. As part of the initiative, four rooms have been refurbished to trial active learning spaces in central teaching rooms.

The aim of the active learning spaces project is to provide greater flexibility for lecturers, particularly with regard to facilitating interactive approaches, group work and collaboration. Initially the changes will be to the furniture and the provision of extra whiteboards, see below for the individual room layouts. During the summer break the AV will be updated with brand new Microsoft surface hubs (training will be available prior to the change), this interactive display offers a great deal more functionality and ease of use than older interactive white boards, including the ability to wirelessly project your own tablet/laptop to the screen.

To support the introduction of these new spaces the DTEL and the DHE are running professional development workshops around flipped classroom teaching and active learning approaches, specific dates are published on the DHE web pages.

The Active Learning Space project team will be evaluating the spaces from both staff and student perspectives and would appreciate input from staff using these rooms, whatever teaching approach is taken.

If you would like to receive priority booking in these rooms, for class sizes up to 30, request room LTH from faculty timetabling, for class sizes up to 60 request LTA, LTB or LTJ.

For further information about the active learning spaces or to take part in the evaluation please contact Susan Keirle (Central Teaching Room Manager), centralteachingroom@surrey.ac.uk
or Colin Loughlin (DTEL).

LTA (Capacity 60)

This room features ‘plectrum’ group work tables and mobile whiteboards.

LTB (Capacity 60)

This room features ‘plectrum’ group work tables and mobile whiteboards.

LTH (Capacity 30)

This room features two large group work tables and brightly coloured glass-boards.

LTJ (Capacity 60)

This room features tables with casters which enable flexible layouts. The tables are quickly configurable for different group-work/collaborative activities.