UCI maintains a broad range of classrooms and lecture halls for general instructional use. DTEI partners with the Office of Information Technology, Facilities Management, and the University Registrar to regularly evaluate these spaces and identify opportunities for improvement. Our recent efforts have focused on piloting new classroom designs and scheduling processes to better support active learning. These pilots lead up to a major milestone for our campus: the first new classroom building designed from the ground-up to support active learning. Named the Anteater Learning Pavilion, this building will provide the campus with 10 new classrooms, a computer lab, and 2 new lecture halls when it opens in Fall 2018. This new space directly supports many of the recommendations established in UCI ‘s 2016 Learning Spaces Advisory Committee Report.
Active Learning Classrooms
Active learning encompasses a broad range teaching practices that encourage students to engage more actively and intentionally with the subject-matter, instructor, peers, and themselves. Learning environments and infrastructure designed with these practices in mind can help reduce physical barriers to interaction and provide additional tools for collaboration. UCI currently has three of these classrooms available with many more on the way.
Anteater Learning Pavilion
The Anteater Learning Pavilion (ALP) is currently under construction on the northwest side of campus, adjacent to Humanities Hall, with completion expected in August 2018. For more information about the building, including classroom features, room diagrams, and ongoing updates, visit the recently launched ALP website.
Priority Scheduling for Active Learning Classrooms
Beginning with courses scheduled for Winter 2018, the campus is piloting a new process to help ensure that faculty are matched to classrooms that best align with their teaching approaches and preferences. Under the initial pilot, faculty can gain priority access to UCI’s growing collection of active learning classrooms by obtaining a certification through DTEI. Recognizing that faculty have a range of experience with active and collaborative learning, we currently provide two options for certification:
- Active Learning Institute (formerly the Engaged Learning Institute): For those who have moderate to no experience with these strategies, we recommend that you attend the Active Learning Institute. The institute will support you in the development and facilitation of activities that align with your instructional goals, as well as connect you with colleagues who are also implementing these strategies. This takes place over a total of eight biweekly meetings and culminates in a classroom observation by DTEI staff during a subsequent quarter.
- Consultation and Class Observation: For instructors who regularly use active and collaborative learning strategies in their courses, a consultation and class observation with DTEI may be a more appropriate option. Instructors who select this option will be asked to meet with DTEI for an initial consultation, provide a lesson plan for the class session to be observed, and then complete the observation. The observation is guided by the same protocol used for the institute.
To begin the certification process, instructors should complete the Active Learning Certification Interest Form. After reviewing the submission, DTEI staff will add the instructor’s name to the priority scheduling list and follow up with next steps. This list is regularly provided to the University Registrar staff, who use it to confirm priority access during the room assignment process. Please note, however, that other prioritization such as utilization and on-module times also apply. See the Classroom Scheduling Policy for more information.
As course scheduling typically begins 6 to 9 months prior to the start of the respective term, it is not expected that the certification process will be complete when room assignments are made. However, instructors wishing to pursue this option should be sure to indicate their certification preference before the Registrar begins the first round of room assignments. The Schedule of Classes Coordinators in each department can provide this date.