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Active Learning Classrooms 2023: Sharing experiences and ideas

07 July 2023

The Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) project of the University of Groningen is focused on promoting the use of active learning activities in academic courses, which is an important part of the University’s Strategic Plan. At the end of each academic year, the ALC project team organises an annual review event. Faculty members and support staff from all faculties involved with Active Learning Classrooms are all invited. Obviously, the event itself takes place in an ALC.

On Tuesday July 4h, the annual meeting was held in classroom 1314.0142 of the Harmonie Building. This classroom, the former Law library, was recently transformed into a bright, open space with flexible furniture and multiple LCD screens to facilitate active learning activities. The event was organised by Marlies Venhuizen-ter Beek and Wytze Koopal of Team Educational Design and Development of the CIT and focused on teacher and student experiences, as well as practical solutions and possible improvements.

Suggestions for the future

During an active small-group activity, the audience provided input on important elements to focus on in the future. Among the suggestions were the following:

  • Improve the scheduling process for Active Learning Classrooms, to make sure that these classrooms are being used by courses that involve active learning activities instead of lectures;
  • Create more ALCs to be able to schedule each requested course;
  • Improve the room design by making it more playful and attractive.

The project team is going to focus on these points in the upcoming year. Two practical results from last year’s review session input were the organisation of on-the spot AV support for technical issues and the creation of informational posters that are visible in each classroom.

Muscle memory

Next to the activity, Terry van Dijk, Associate Professor Planning and Design at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, provided a very inspiring presentation. He described why and how he and his colleagues are using the ALCs at the Zernike Campus. Terry made us think about muscle memory that is of great importance in for example driving a car. Similar mechanisms are also a big element of the urban design courses that he teaches in the ALCs. The more you use the ALCs for your course, the more active your education will be by nature.

Testimonial videos

Last but not least, three testimonial videos premiered during the event. In these videos, UG teachers Susan Aasman, Terry van Dijk and Bas Baalmans share their experiences with the ALCs. These testimonials provide practical examples that inspire fellow teachers to implement active learning activities in their courses. Be sure to take a look at them! If you are interested, the project team is always available to help (re)design courses, in close cooperation with support staff from your own faculty.

For more information about the Active Learning Classrooms, please visit the dedicated website .

Last modified:11 July 2023 1.16 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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