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Research shows that students learn and retain more when they are active participants in the learning process, rather than just passive listeners. As a result, a growing number of  instructors are adopting a mix of lecture-based and active learning methods in the classroom. In order to accommodate a richer classroom experience, our learning spaces must facilitate sustained eye contact, instructor access to students, and the ability to move seamlessly between instructional modes.

Since 2010, the University has been experimenting with flexible classroom designs that support a wider range of teaching methods. The classrooms are closely aligned with the results of a 2012 faculty survey on classrooms and subsequent faculty recommendations made to the Classroom Policy Steering Committee.

Here are a few of the classroom designs that have been implemented in some of the University’s general purpose classrooms. For more information on these classrooms, their evaluation results, and how to schedule one, follow the links for each.


Swivel Seat with Dedicated Aisle Space

Fixed tablet arm desks that swivel 360 degrees make transitions between lecture, class discussion, and small groups almost instantaneous. Instructors have dedicated aisle space to move throughout the room. Learn More »


Tablet Chairs on Casters

Tablet arm desks with soft casters facilitate the formation of small groups and encourage eye contact during class discussions. Learn More »

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Studio classrooms support collaborative and cooperative learning methods by grouping students at round or square tables. Learn More »


Active Learning Hall

Greenlaw 101, the first active learning hall on the Carolina campus, subdivides the room into six different learning zones. It is used by faculty members from a wide range of disciplines. Learn More »

Movable Tables and Personal Marker Boards

Tables for two on casters can be configured in variety of ways. Each table includes personal marker boards that can be used for student work and as partitions during exams.