We recently interviewed three instructors who taught in University Hall AD 1000, located on the IUPUI campus, and asked them to share their perspectives on, and experiences with, teaching in this unique learning space. In this blog, Andy Buchenot, Tyrone Freeman, and Gina Gibau generously share their experiences engaging students in this active learning classroom. They also address obstacles in the space and provide quick tips for any instructor new to teaching in AD 1000.
How did you navigate the classroom space, furniture, and other classroom features in AD 1000?
Tyrone Freeman: When I taught in AD 1000 in the past, I tended to stay at the front of the class near the instructor station or at the touch screen board, only moving around the room during small group work. Now, I switch up my location regularly, using the various glass white boards as a base or gathering students in different parts of the room. I will no longer be “chained” to the front of the classroom.
Gina Gibau: When I first taught in AD 1000, I enjoyed being able to situate myself near the different glass boards, so that the “front of the class” became any place where I was then standing at any given moment. When students were arranged into small groups (3, 4, or 8), the ease with which I circulated among and between the groups depended on their size. As the semester went on, I let go of the idea of me having to squeeze in between the students and the glass boards to reflect upon their responses to group work, and allowed for students situated near a given board to report out their responses on their own.
Andy Buchenot: While I taught in AD 1000, I was constantly monitoring where I stood in relation to my students and assessing whether it was where I wanted to stand or move for each activity. Asking discussion questions while behind the instructor station solicits a very different response than doing the same thing while sitting in a circle with your students.
Tyrone Freeman: I arranged the movable tables in a few different ways. It is wise to plan ahead and allow time for shifting the tables around. Between backpacks, jackets, and plugged in devices, moving the tables can be quite a chore. I have found arranging them at the start of class to be most helpful and I even ask students to assist as they are arriving. This semester, I will be experimenting with the room arrangements displayed on the Mosaic website.
What do you perceive to be the biggest obstacle to teaching in AD 1000? How did you address that obstacle during a class meeting?
Gina Gibau: The biggest obstacle I faced in teaching in AD 1000 was that there was a class in there before mine. Therefore, I would have to rearrange furniture nearly every class period; this cut into valuable class time. While the students could have assisted, many of them stayed outside until I moved everything! But, as the semester progressed to a stage when we had more regular group discussions of 8, the students took the initiative to move the furniture.
Tyrone Freeman: Managing the instructor station is my biggest challenge. Activating the various screens can be a challenge. I’ve had to call Classroom Technology Services for help a few times. I struggle with activating the back screen for some reason.
Andy Buchenot: My biggest obstacle was budgeting enough time to use the content sharing system, called Solstice, effectively. I always wanted more time for students to use this powerful technology! My solution was to start projecting a clock on one of the monitors. When it was time to stop, it was time to stop.
Let’s close with some “Quick Tips.” What advice would you give to an instructor who is new to teaching in AD 1000?
Andy Buchenot: Don’t be afraid to dramatically rearrange the seating. It is amazing how clustering students in different ways changes the way they interact.
Gina Gibau: Mosaic classrooms include a myriad of technologies. Use the ones that best fit your course design and objectives. Keep in mind that the most effective technology may not be the most advanced; low tech technologies like glass boards may be more useful in meeting learning objectives.
Tyrone Freeman: Consider how to make use of the glass white boards. There are several positioned around the classroom which offer many options for engaging students.
Gina Gibau: Visiting the room in advance will be helpful, and particularly with a private tutorial from Mosaic staff if possible.
Thank you, Gina, Tyrone, and Andy for sharing with us! The tips our faculty have shared are just a few examples of what’s possible in AD 1000. If you’d like to share your own ideas, please add them in the comments below. If you would like to learn more about AD 1000, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org