In this blog series, we’ll explore how Mosaic classrooms with configurable furniture can be arranged to support a variety of active learning activities. In this installment, we’ll take a look at different ways to configure GISB rooms 1100, 1106, 1112, 1118, 1122, 1128, 1134.
With seating for up to 64 students, the GISB classrooms’ moveable tables and chairs can, at first, present an overwhelming number of configuration possibilities. Today we’ll share five options for arranging the classrooms and suggestions for a smoother room arrangement process.
Arrangement #1: Presentation/Lecture with Paired Work Groups
Arranging the desks facing the screens allows for an instructor or student presenter(s), as well as the actual screens, to be clearly visible. By arranging students in groups of two, you can create paired work groups, for both short activities or longer assignments.
Arrangement #2: Presentation/Lecture with Long Rows
Lecture/Presentation/remote speaker: Moving the desks into five rows allows for all students to face the screen(s) for lecture, student presentations, or to view a remote guest speaker.
White boards and screens: The whiteboard walls and side screens remain accessible to both instructors and students. An instructor can display their slides on the screens for maximum visibility to all students. In this arrangement, instructors have access to whiteboards on the sides of the rooms to write explanations.
Interactive presentation: To engage students during a lecture or presentation, leverage Solstice to allow students to share content (images, videos, their screens) from their own devices. They can share to any of the screens in the room, including the screens at the front of the room.
Arrangement #3: Groups of Four
This configuration allows for up to sixteen groups of four, which is ideal for small group work. The arrangement provides each student group with a large collaborative workspace and allows them to make eye-contact with their peers as they collaborate. There is ample space to allow for the instructor, teaching assistants, and students to move about the classroom.
Arrangement #4: Eight Groups of Six
For a class that enrolls less 64 students, tables and chairs can be pushed to the side if they are not being used. To further clear space for student work, unused tables can hold student belongings.
This arrangement is useful for classroom meetings or table-focused group work. Ample space allows students and instructors to easily move about the room, and provides students access to all whiteboard surfaces. Also, four groups have access to the side screens.
Arrangement #5: Class Forum
This arrangement seats 32 students. Extra tables are pushed to the sides. In this configuration a large group can engage in a discussion with clear view of other participants.
Tips for configuring GISB classrooms
Reconfiguring a classroom in a short amount of time can be challenging. Here are a few helpful tips:
Communicate the desired configuration to your students.
Consider sharing one of the above images with students (perhaps, on a slide before class or in your Canvas course) and ask your students to begin to arrange the classroom when they arrive.
Just as you expect students to prepare for class with readings or homework, let them know that you expect them to help prepare the learning environment for class meetings.
Expect it to take a few class meetings for the process to be smooth.
It can take a few class meetings before students can quickly and smoothly arrange furniture to the desired configuration. As you plan for your class, be sure to consider the time required to configure the room.
The configurations we’ve discussed here are just a few examples of what’s possible in GISB rooms 1100, 1106, 1112, 1118, 1122, 1128, 1134. If you’d like to share your own ideas, please add them to the comments below. If you’ve taught in one of these GISB rooms before and want to share your own experiences in this room, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to write your own blog.