In December of 2013, The Special Committee on Classroom Design published a report outlining “traditional and emerging modalities of learning on campus.” The nine-member Committee, chaired by Mung Chiang, Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering, offered five recommendations for the classroom design process:
- Implement more user-friendly technologies in classrooms
- Involve faculty and students in the classroom-design process
- Create better tools for finding active classrooms, scheduling them and providing feedback on their functionality
- Create more flexible, reconfigurable spaces for active learning on campus;
- Establish “classrooms outside of classrooms,” or, alternative, non-traditional learning areas in proximity to existing teaching spaces.
All of these recommendations relate in some way to making spaces for active learning at Princeton more common and accessible.
Active Learning is defined in the Committee’s report in this way:
In its simplest definition, active learning seeks to amplify student participation and involvement in his or her own learning experience. Since the 1980s, an extensive body of research on college teaching has convincingly demonstrated that students are more creative, engage more, and retain that learning longer when faculty deploy more learner-centered teaching methods . . . As educational pedagogy changes, our campus classroom design process can further these goals.