BGSU initiates active learning classroom

BGSU explores the benefits of an active learning classroom.
BGSU explores the benefits of an active learning classroom.

BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) – Bowling Green State University (BGSU) students and faculty are experimenting with a new type of classroom that promotes active learning.

From the design of the chairs to the way the room is arranged in Hayes Hall's room 126 was designed to initiate group learning. There are five flat-screen TVs around the room, and iPads are used by students at one of four oval tables. Work done there can be displayed on one or all of the televisions.

"There is no lecturn, there's an AV station," explained Bonnie Fink, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. "There's no front or back. The students are working with groups, so they're actually doing the learning and the work. They're actively learning and working on the material in the classroom."

Fink helped pioneer the project. BGSU isn't the first university to adopt this type of classroom, but they did hold an open house Monday to education other institutions on the benefits of an active learning classroom.

"I think you have to think about how you plan lessons differently as an instructor," said doctoral student Ryan Bronkema. "As a student I definitely saw that play out in the way that we were encouraged to have dialogue with each other and I think that's the biggest value of this room."

Everyone from doctoral students such as Bronkema to first-year students have used the room since it first opened in September.There is currently no class scheduled for the room, but faculty who come up with a project that would work there are trained in how to use the room and can bring their class in for the project.

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