2007 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 24, 2007
HUB West Ballroom

Session Description


Flexible learning spaces: The integration of pedagogy, physical design, and instructional technology

Rebecca Etheridge (Teaching and Learning Center) and Stern Neill (Milgard School of Business), UW Tacoma


The traditional classroom can be transformed through an appreciation of differing approaches to teaching and learning, application of effective physical design, and adoption of instructional technology. In leading this transformation, a team representing the Teaching and Learning Center, Information Technology, and faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma collaborated on the development, implementation, and assessment of a flexible learning space for classroom use.

The overall project goal was to enhance instructional effectiveness and student learning through the integration of pedagogy, physical design, and instructional technology. This goal was achieved through a classroom design that provides for quick reconfiguration to support different modes of teaching and learning. The room accommodates up to fifty-four students and is being used for a variety of courses (e.g., business, math, science, writing, and others) and by different student types (e.g., new/current and undergraduate/graduate). To assess the room, data were gathered through observation, interviews, and surveys. Data collection is ongoing.

Initial survey results indicate that the room’s flexibility 1) increases student engagement, 2) facilitates collaborative learning, 3) allows for a variety of uses, and 4) enhances the teaching/learning style of participants. In addition to these findings, we will present observations on how faculty and students experiment with different configurations and applications (e.g., lecture, demonstrations, in-class activities, and team-based projects) along with faculty feedback on the room’s efficacy and use.




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