The Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching & Learning are collaborating to provide an increased number of collaborative and active learning classrooms as part of the university’s Master Plan.
The CAL rooms are designed to offer an alternative to the traditional lecture hall, facilitating active learning approaches that include team-based learning, problem-based learning, and other collaborative pedagogies. These rooms are decentered and are not intended to have a “front” of the room and encourage student interactivity. As such, the instructor is more of a facilitator of student-based learning activities that encourages the application of course concepts, solving challenging problems and interacting with each other with hands-on collaborative projects.
In fall of 2014, the first of these rooms was completed as a pilot and training space (Raynor 330B – capacity 28). The first general pool collaborative and active classroom (Cudahy 108 – capacity 40) came online in Fall 2017. The third space (Lalumiere 384 – capacity 25) will be complete for January 2018.
Key room features of Marquette CAL rooms are movable tables and chairs for varying group sizes and interactivities, tables that are large enough for students to work actively on projects, either as a six-person team or two smaller 3-person teams, and portable white boards that allow students to sketch out solutions to problems posed as part of learning activities.
Each CAL room is also equipped with multiple monitors, inputs, and wall mounted displays that can allow for presenting multiple types of content, including standard instructor tools (computer, document camera, DVD player) as well as the screens of individual student devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, web-enabled cellphones). The monitors can accommodate a “gallery view” of multiple student computers, a “quad view” combination of four sources (tables and/or instructor tools), or one single source. These advanced projection options allow for the sharing and discussion of student work, as well as for display of multiple pieces of content needed for table-based activities.
At the request of the Office of the Provost, the Center for Teaching and Learning will initiate coordinating the placement of classes into this space. The CTL will work with the Office of the Registrar to facilitate placing classes into one of the three CAL Classrooms.
To promote the most effective and efficient use of these unique spaces, classes will be prioritized if faculty/courses meet combinations of the following criteria:
- Full-time faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, clinical), or adjunct instructors and visiting assistant professors with the sponsorship of their department chair
- Clear plans for implementing problem-based, case-base, collaborative, active learning approaches as central components of the course curriculum; priority will be given to proposals that will effectively utilize the room’s technology to support these instructional strategies.
- Agreement to attend a course development workshop (a combination of technical orientation and active-learning pedagogy workshop) and/or work with the CTL staff on the design of active learning strategies that best utilize the room’s capabilities.
- Classes that meet at least 75% of room capacity and are scheduled during Marquette standard meeting times.
- Special consideration may be given to instructors who are redesigning courses to meet a specific instructional or curricular challenge (high DFW rates, differences in student success based on gender or ethnicity, etc.), and/or actively studying the impact of new course designs on student learning.
Applicants may also apply for a CTL Summer Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant to pursue research on collaborative and active learning in their discipline. (Funds are unavailable for curriculum development)
In the case of scheduling conflicts, priority will be given to courses that provide clear plans for utilizing the space and its technology in support of active learning.
Applications are due no later than Monday, Nov. 27. The CTL will forward recommended courses to the Office of the Registrar on Friday, Dec. 8. The office will work with faculty to place the classes into a CAL room based on class schedule, appropriateness of class size, and room availability.
The Center for Teaching & Learning will provide training and support for instructors using these spaces, including helping instructors redesign their courses to include active learning, providing training on the room’s technology, and forming communities of instructors who want to share experiences about teaching in this space.