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Active Learning Classrooms at Carolina

In response to a 2012 faculty survey on classrooms, the University continues to experiment with active learning classroom designs to accommodate a wider range of teaching methods. In fall 2018, the University approved a master plan put forward by the Classroom Policy Steering Committee to expedite updates to roughly a third of the University’s general purpose classrooms. A Phase II proposal for the classrooms modernization initiative is under development.

Active learning classrooms at Carolina are designed with the following instructional goals in mind:

  1. Enhance interaction between students (sustained eye contact);
  2. Make it possible for instructors to interact directly with every student in the classroom;
  3. Allow for efficient transitions between different instructional methods (e.g., lecture, small group work, full class discussion).

Teach in an Active Learning Classroom

Familiarize yourself with UNC’s active learning classrooms. Learn more about all of our general purpose classrooms (central campus) at the ITS Classroom Hotline website. Search on Active Learning Classrooms.

Request an active learning classroom. Your department’s scheduling officer can now include a classroom feature request through Connect Carolina for each course. Active Learning Classroom is one of eight possible feature requests. Learn more about how to take advantage of this new option.

Active learning halls. The University current has two former lecture halls that have been renovated as active learning halls. Greenlaw 101 seats 100 and Carroll 111 seats 210. If you are interested in teaching in either of these classrooms, contact Bob Henshaw.

Resources for Instructors Teaching in Active Learning Classrooms

Classroom Management GuidesThese brief guides provide practical suggestions and tips for utilizing space in flexible learning spaces at Carolina.

Active Learning Videos: Short step-by-step guides to implementing easy-to-adopt active learning strategies, plus discussion from UNC instructors on how they use the techniques.

  • Think-pair-share: Thomas Freeman (Chemistry) talks about his use of this popular interactive technique.
  • Whiteboards: Glynis Cowell (Romance Studies) discusses her students’ use of shared writing surfaces in the classroom.

Active Learning Web Resources: A curated collection of web resources on how to implement active learning techniques.

Classroom Configuration Slides (PPT): These editable Powerpoint slides can help you communicate your expectations with students about arranging mobile classroom furniture.

Flexible Classrooms Ambassadors: Reach out to campus colleagues who have experience teaching in a flexible learning space.

Talk to Someone About Making the Most of Flexible Classrooms
For more information about getting oriented to flexible classrooms and active learning, implementing small group activities, and designing effective prompts, contact Emily Boehm or Bob Henshaw.