A new active learning "pod classroom" was constructed over the summer for fall semester 2013: James I Swenson Science Building 216. Pod classrooms have round tables (pods) of nine with the ability to further divide into smaller tables with groups of three. Each pod has extra technology to allow the students in that group to present within their group or to the rest of the class (including monitors, audio, camera, microphone).
The intention of active learning classrooms is to move from a traditional, passive, lecture-based model of instruction into an active, collaborative, inquiry-based model. This sort of classroom is inspired by the Scale-Up model (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies) from North Carolina State University. It is also often referred to as a "flipped" classroom. Active learning is a mode of instruction that can be done in traditional classrooms but it can also be enhanced with various levels of technology. A key function of the technology is facilitating and enabling small-group learning with ease of sharing.
Visit Active Learning to learn more about active learning classrooms at UMD.