Before we all started working from home, I used to take breaks from work to look out my office window and watch the construction progress on Innovation Hall, on the IUPUI campus. Innovation Hall, located in downtown Indianapolis, will soon support the teaching and research needs for IUPUI’s Schools of Science, Engineering and Technology, and Informatics and Computing. I’m most excited about Innovation Hall because, within this building, there will be three new Mosaic classrooms:
- a 215-seat tiered lecture hall
- an 81-seat SCALE-UP-style classroom with movable chairs and tables
- a 125-seat, football-shaped “active learning theatre,” with two tiers of seats that swivel to encourage variable grouping collaboration
Watching Innovation Hall take shape, and thinking about those new Mosaic classrooms, I often thought about how, once the building is completed and filled with students, those three classrooms will remain construction zones of sorts…knowledge construction zones.
Once in the classrooms, students will engage in the construction of new knowledge and new understanding of disciplinary thinking and problems. And when these rooms are completed, they will have the tools to use to help construct these new ways of knowing.
Active learning classrooms are knowledge construction zones
Active learning classrooms offer a variety tools to support knowledge construction. Whether it’s a table and chairs arranged to support discussion, white boards for brainstorming ideas, or shared screens for exploring resources on the internet, active learning is supported more comprehensively when it occurs in a space that provides the tools for students and instructors to engage in a variety of ways.
The three new classrooms mentioned above will boast several new tools for student learning (or knowledge construction), some familiar to IUPUI students and some, quite new.
A number of these new tools will be analog, like our latest version of glass marker boards; others will be digital, like our recent installation of Sony Edge Analytics, which captures handwriting on marker boards and overlays it in front of the instructor.
Looking to the summer and the completion of Innovation Hall, I will be writing other blogs describing these new knowledge construction zones. If you will be teaching in Innovation Hall or want to learn about some of the newest tools we have for active learning, stay tuned for more information!
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