I recently visited The Experimental Classroom at Uppsala University, as part of an Erasmus Trip. Built in 2010, the classroom encourages academics to rethink their teaching strategies. The layout and structure of the classroom alone, creates an environment where students become more actively involved in their own learning.
The room itself can hold 70-80 people. It is circular in shape, and the tables and chairs are usually set-up in small group formations. All furniture is foldable and set on castors (wheels), meaning that it can be quickly rearranged.
There is an interactive whiteboard in each corner, allowing students to break into groups and work on presentations together. An interesting example of how this method was used in teaching comes from the Archeology department at Uppsala. Each student group could collaborate on an image of a map onscreen, and present to the wider group at the end of the session.
The room is booked through The Unit of Academic Teaching and Learning and IT Services. Educational Developers review all applications, ensuring that the rationale for using the space is pedagogically valuable. They will assist any staff who have fallen short of the requirements, by providing tips for enhancing the learning objectives.
I had the pleasure of working closely with Geir Gunnlaugsson, an Educational Developer, over the course of my three day visit. Geir has had a very positive experience of the Learning Lab over the last eight years.
Open Workshops are also held every Wednesday from 2:00-4:00, which provide a drop-in service for staff. Technicians and Educational Developers are present at these workshops to answer any technical or pedagogical queries.