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Active Learning Classroom Designs

Active Learning Classroom at McGill Faculty of Education

Active Learning Classroom at McGill Faculty of Education

This photograph was taken at the Faculty of Education, McGill University. It shows one of the university’s early Active Learning classroom designs. It conforms in many respects to the SCALE-UP model popularized by Bob Beichner at North Carolina State University.

We can learn a great deal by examining some of the features of this room. First of all, the tables are round and large, 7 feet in diameter, as per the SCALE-UP model. They seat 9 students. This poses an immediate question:  how many students do you want sitting together? In SCALE-UP the idea is that students work in groups of 3 and so, 3 groups per table. Some college teachers find this unappealing. They want one small group, say 4 students, per table. Such tables might be 5 feet in diameter.