Active learning

The Steelcase Active Learning Center (ALC), features flexible workspaces designed for collaborative learning and problem-solving. The physical space supports the use of mobile devices, distance learning technologies and other interactive features to facilitate a more fluid teaching and learning environment for both students and instructors.

Signature features include

  • All desks and chairs are on wheels allowing for the use of multiple classroom configurations depending on lesson objectives and planned activities
  • Personal whiteboards for each student with multiple display options on wall hangers, tables and portable easels
  • New touchscreen dual monitors and laser LCD projectors at the teaching station
  • 8x6 writable flow board with multiple quadrants
  • 20 laptop mobile computer lab with surface pros, keyboards and digital pens
  • Thread system installation that allows students to plug-in and charge their mobile devices in convenient floor outlets
  • Enhanced wireless connectivity in the space to meet increased demand
  • Ceiling mounted cameras/microphone drops for distance education and software to enable learners to share their screens via the LCD projectors

Project background

West Virginia University was awarded an active learning classroom through the Active Learning Center (ALC) program, a grant initiative offered by Steelcase® Education. The grant program, valued at $67,000, supports both educators and students by creating an environment that encourages engagement, collaboration and creativity.

Traditional classrooms are outdated. Immovable desks and chairs aligned neatly in rows lend themselves to rote memorization, not the variety of teaching strategies most educators use today. The installation the Active Learning Center will facilitate innovation in pedagogy, technology and space as critical determinants of active learning.

What is active learning?

Student success is central to our institutional mission at WVU. Active learning represents the foundational component of this success, including opportunities for students to engage in authentic experiences, meaningful self-reflection and the collaborative exchange of ideas and information. In alignment with this commitment to active learning, faculty are challenged to move beyond outdated paradigms by diversifying instruction to meet the expectations of 21st-century learners, including opportunities for connectedness, use of mobile technologies and immediate feedback.

How we are using it?

To promote active learning, WVU encourages faculty to account for the basic principles of effective teaching with a focus on outcomes, clarity, engagement and enthusiasm in their course planning, instruction, management and assessment. In partnership with Teaching and Learning Commons, faculty will be supported in using active learning strategies that range in complexity: low complexity (e.g., one-minute paper, brainstorm/free write, self/peer formative assessment), moderate complexity (e.g., categorizing grid, defining features matrix, concept maps), and high complexity (e.g., cooperative case studies, problem-based learning activities).


View a timelapse of the center's construction