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Wednesday, June 22 • 14:45 - 15:35
CON03.15 - Designing Innovative, Technology-Rich, Collaborative Active Learning Classrooms: Lessons from an eight-year design-based research initiative at Dawson College

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Specialized Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) that are designed to leverage the benefits of Active Learning strategies are spreading across college and university campuses worldwide. These student-centred learning spaces are designed to offer, among other things, better opportunities for collective problem solving, confronting ineffective strategies and misconceptions, and providing collaborative work opportunities for students.

Dawson College began developing Active Learning Classrooms in 2008 and has been recognized for the original and innovative design of its technology-rich SMART Classrooms, the development of complementary low-tech ALCs, and our use of a community of practice model for fostering and sustaining pedagogical change.

Recognizing that design and purpose are different sides of the same coin, our room designs are distinct in two important ways: First, they focus on making the process of knowledge construction by student groups visible, public, and dynamic, and; Second, they involve an innovative table design.

Importantly, the development of our room designs has followed an iterative model of change that is guided by research and driven by both practitioners and researchers. This process puts evidence, collaboration and notions of sustainability at the centre of the development process.

In this session, we will engage participants in the design of active learning classrooms (come ready to do some designing!) and highlight the salient design features of our rooms. We will also discuss the iterative, evidence-based process of our classroom development and review our the community of practice model. Lastly, we will share some of the lessons and research that have come from our efforts.

Please note that this session will take place in the Western Active Learning Space (WALS), which provides a rich opportunity for engaging participants and for reflecting in a meaningful way on various Active Learning Classroom design features.

avatar for Chris Whittaker

Chris Whittaker

Chris Whittaker, physics faculty and educational researcher at Dawson College. B.Sc & M.Sc. Engineering Physics (Queen's), MSW (U Toronto), and currently a PhD student in Didactics, Faculty of Education at Université de Montréal. Collaborator on consecutive research grants investigating... Read More →

Additional Authors

Elizabeth Charles

Elizabeth S. Charles, faculty-researcher at Dawson College, Montreal, Qc. Ph.D. in Educational Technology. Director of the Supporting Active Learning and Technological Innovation in Studies in Education (SALTISE), a community of practice involving over 15 post-secondary institutions... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 14:45 - 15:35 EDT
UCC 66 (WALS, Sponsored by Nelson)