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  • Active Learning Classroom showing students collaborating

What is an Active Learning Classroom (ALC)?

Active Learning Classrooms (ALC)
 offer a teaching and learning environment that makes it easier for faculty who want to expand their course design "beyond the lecture" to engage the imagination of students. McCombs is excited to add a new space custom-designed to provide students with a diverse and interactive learning environment that takes full advantage of state-of-the-art technology. Starting in Fall 2014 the McCombs ALCs will open their doors and welcome faculty and students to an energetic, active, and highly collaborative teaching and learning adventure.

Inside an ALC

The best way to understand an ALC is to experience it: take a quick look inside an Active Learning Classroom for science classes at the University of Minnesota  and hear from students and faculty about their experience.

    Video credits: produced by Robin Wright, created by Andy Underwood-Bultmann, and music by Falcon Arrow 

    ALC highlights

    • Cooperative learning environments that motivate collaboration among students.
    • Technology that lets students and instructor easily present work to each other.
    • Flexible furniture designed to facilitate small-group work.
    • The ability for instructors to interactively coach students during activities.
    • Increase our ability to emulate real-world practices.

    Through an innovative layout of the space and flexible furniture students can collaborate in groups and have access to dedicated technology, including computer screen-sharing, whiteboards and projectors. Through this equipment  the instructor can employ new ways of engaging with students through collaborative learning activities and easy use of media that invites participation.

    The design of the space lets the instructors easily switch between presenting to the entire class and consulting with individual student groups on their work. Both instructor and students can move freely around the room to collaborate and engage in conversation. In short, the ALC accommodates all different teaching modes including lecture style, team-based collaboration and group discussions to offer a well-balanced learning experience.