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Dr. Tonya Nilsson teaching in Dowd 208

Dr. Tonya Nilsson teaching in Dowd 208

New Classroom Spaces Increase Inventory, Facilitate Teaching Innovations

The university started the fall quarter with an increase in available classrooms resulting from the completion of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building and renovation of Alameda Hall. There are now 84 general purpose classrooms located across campus, reflecting an increase of nine classrooms over the last year. The introduction of new classroom space has reduced strain on facilities, particularly during peak times. The rate of classroom utilization during peak hours for fall 2016 has ranged from 70-90%, compared to 76-96% in fall 2012.

In addition to increasing the overall number of classrooms, the new spaces feature improvements designed to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Many facilitate the use of innovative pedagogies and instructional practices, including active learning approaches. One of the classrooms, Alameda 103, is the university’s first SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) classroom, a space specially designed to facilitate active learning through collaborative group work, investigation, and problem solving.

Photo of Alameda Hall SCALE UP Classroom

Alameda 103 - SCALE-UP Classroom

Dowd 208

Dowd 208

On Wednesday, December 7, from 4:00-5:00 p.m., the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation will host a CAFE series event in the newly renovated Alameda Hall. The event will include tours of six of the university’s nine new classrooms, including the university’s new SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) classroom, pictured above. Faculty members who have used the SCALE-UP classroom during its first quarter in operation will be on hand to discuss their experiences. I hope you will take this opportunity to learn about the these new spaces and their capabilities. Even if you cannot attend, I encourage faculty members who are interested in learning how to make the most effective use of these new classrooms to take advantage of resources and programming made available by the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation. The Collaborative hosts workshops throughout the year and maintains a wide-ranging collection of pedagogical and instructional resources in its Digital Resources for Teaching (DRT) online library. Academic Technology also provides assistance to faculty members who wish to utilize technology to enhance their teaching.