The LearnLab was the first of the two spaces to be created and it helped pave the way for the AHA! space, but it faced an initial challenge: UF’s need — as at all institutions of higher education — to hold down the amount of real estate allocated per student.
Educators and administrators at UMG understood they needed to make changes to their classrooms and develop a new classroom paradigm where technology and the physical space are integrated to support pedagogy and create a more active and engaging experience for instructors and students.
New data from ongoing Steelcase Education studies shows that classrooms designed for active learning—i.e., where physical space supports a focus on engaging experiences for students and faculty— have a significant effect on student engagement.
Richland visited Steelcase to explore possibilities in innovative classroom design. After visiting and seeing LearnLab firsthand, Richland leaders became convinced that this research-based concept for integrating furniture and technology into the classroom space could be an important tool in furthering progressive learning strategies.
The active learning classroom has been called “the third teacher” for the impact it can have on students. But what we’ve needed is a reliable post-occupancy evaluation that measures how well a different (i.e., active) classroom design can affect student success. Now the wait is over.
As enrollment has increased, the educational and socioeconomic needs of Upper Darby students have grown in complexity and severity. Almost 50 percent of district students meet the low-income standard set by the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, six schools receive Title I school-wide services and Upper Darby students represent an increasingly diverse population.