Project Profile: University of Minnesota ASVM104 (Active Learning Classroom)
The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus had an unusual request at the beginning of 2013: help them convert an aging microscopy lab into a state-of-the-art classroom that would support active learning pedagogies. Elert & Associates was retained by the College to lead the programming phase, with BWBR Architects selected by the College to be Elert’s subcontractor for architectural design. For CD and CA phases, this relationship was reversed.
Many of the faculty who planned to teach in ASVM room 104 had taught in other University of Minnesota SCALE-UP style active learning environments. The programming process revealed numerous areas of improvement upon existing University active learning classroom configurations – relating to everything from seating, sightlines, technology, acoustics, lighting, and flexibility.
The final result is a classroom that is designed for 102 students in 17 groups, but can comfortably accommodate up to 119. Students are seated in groups of 6-7, with each group having a large whiteboard for their use, as well as connections for portable computing devices to be displayed at their table on a 22” monitor for group collaboration. Each table also stores up to three microscopes for the students to share. Power connections for microscopes and computing devices are built into every table.
The room features a ring of a dozen ceiling-mounted monitors around the center of the room, facing out towards the student groups. Additional monitors in each corner fill the coverage gaps caused by distance. All of these monitors were already in the room at the start of the project – creative re-use of existing resources saved nearly $25,000. The instructor can select the work of any student table and display it on the ring of monitors, and control the entire system (including their own computer) from anywhere in the room using a wide array of wireless interface devices provided with the system. Click to learn more about our Audiovisual & Multimedia services.