Swivel Seats with Dedicated Aisle Space
Furniture and configuration
This design uses fixed tablet arm desks that swivel 360 degrees. The seats are laid out in pods of 4-12 and provide dedicated aisle space.
What works best in this classroom?
This design facilitates movement between lecture, class discussion, and small group activities during a course or recitation section. Fixed seats ensure dedicated aisle space that maximizes instructor movement throughout the room, but movement of seats is limited to the 360 degree swivel. This design can be used for courses with smaller enrollments (25 or fewer), but is intended for courses with mid-sized enrollments. Small group size depends on how seats are configured. In 218 Peabody, all pods are based on groups of two or four. In 311 Peabody, combinations of two, three, four, or six are possible. Several UNC instructors have reported that this design also helps discourage Honor Code violations during in-class assessments.
“So far the room is working out very well for me, and in just the way I’d hoped. The students are able to move into small groups to work without having to spend 5 minutes rearranging furniture. In addition, students are able to actually turn to look at whichever one of their colleagues is speaking – I think this is why my students are doing such a good job building on one another’s comments. There’s also plenty of room for me to walk around, which again helps set the tone of everyone focusing on the person speaking.”
“The design makes it feel more like a roundtable discussion than a classroom setting, which makes participation feel a little more natural.”
UNC classrooms using this design
- 218 Peabody (seats 40)
- 311 Peabody (seats 48)
How can I schedule one of these classrooms?
Ask the scheduling officer for your academic unit to request a classroom through the University Registrar’s Scheduling Office.
- 2011 Pilot Report (311 Peabody)
- Henshaw, R. G., Edwards, P. M., & Bagley, E. J. (2011). Use of swivel desks and aisle space to promote interaction in mid-sized college classrooms. Journal of Learning Spaces, 1(1). Retrieved from http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ojs/index.php/jls/article/view/277
- ITS Classroom Hotline profiles for 218 Peabody, 311 Peabody