The Office of Information Technology has upgraded ESB 23 with specialized technology and furniture to transform the room into an "active learning classroom." ESB 23 is the first of several planned active learning classroom conversions that are anticipated to take place in the coming years.
Related: Skip to ESB 23 overview
Active Learning Classroom Overview
An active learning classroom is a tool that uses space to empower students to embrace a more active, immersive style of learning. As such, the traditional lecture environment is greatly de-emphasized in these courses (though not necessarily eliminated), and class time is instead structured around class-wide participatory activities. The presence of sophisticated content sharing technology allows small groups of students to share content among themselves and with the class as a whole. Room furniture is specialized and easily reconfigured to support a variety of purposes. Through an intentional use of the digital and analog tools in the room to support the lessons, active learning classrooms facilitate a cooperative effort that’s harder to achieve in a regular classroom.
Introductory video from University of Minnesota
Introductory video from McGill University
Introductory video from U.C. Berkeley
As part of these developments, OIT is soliciting participation in an on-going active learning classroom pilot of ESB 23. Participating in the pilot will also entail participation in a faculty learning community. The goal of these activities is to put the new equipment through real-world instructional uses and to establish best practices around the pedagogy of active learning. The lessons learned in the pilot will be applied to the creation of any additional active learning classrooms. Glenn Pillsbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) will facilitate and organize the pilot.
ESB 23 Upgrade Overview
ESB 23 features the Kramer Collaborative Classroom system. There is a large ten-foot (10’) instructor screen at the front of the classroom that can display a variety of inputs via the Kramer platform (laptops, cell phones, document readers, etc.). In addition, there are five 80” monitors along the sides of the room that students group around and connect to as part of their in-class work.
Moveable furniture, wall outlets, an instructor screen, and five monitors make room usage very flexible. Students occupy 30 moveable chairs and 30 moveable desks. The chairs are on wheels, and students are able to easily re-arrange them from a lecture configuration to small groups clustered around one of the five monitors. Below is a panoramic image of the room and its furniture: