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Commencement 2016

Active Learning Spaces

Active Learning Spaces at Spelman CollegeAt Spelman College, student‐centered, technology enhanced classroom spaces support high‐impact pedagogy while enhancing student engagement and skill development. Research has shown that Active Learning Spaces (e.g. moveable workstations and whiteboards) have a greater impact on student learning outcomes and motivation.
(Baepler, et al., 2016, Soneral and Wyse, 2017, Stoltzfus et al., 2016).

High‐impact Learning Practices and Technology‐rich Academic Spaces 

The combination of exceptional faculty who embrace high‐impact learning practices coupled with technology‐rich academic spaces support an exceptional learning experience, which results in a range of improved student learning outcomes, including greater knowledge and application of the course content.

Between May 2015 and May 2019, twenty‐five (25) Active Learning Spaces (ALS) were created at Spelman. During academic year 2017‐2018, three (3) new active learning spaces came online – following their transformation, those three (3) ALS classrooms hosted sixty‐four (64) courses and 1,221 students over a (9) nine‐month period. Another six (6) ALS rooms were completed by September 2018 and six (6) additional classrooms were online by April 2019.

Audio-Visual Enhancements Improve Learning Outcomes at Spelman College

In addition to ALS classroom upgrades, audio‐visual technology was upgraded in thirty‐four (34) classrooms. The ALS project was paused during the 2019‐2020 academic year due to the COVID‐19 pandemic. To accommodate the College’s pivot to online course offerings and to support the implementation of distance learning based on best practices for pedagogy in the virtual teaching space, video conference carts were procured, HyFlex audio/video technology was upgraded in academic spaces, and laptops were purchased for faculty. Spelman College returned to on‐campus instruction during the Fall 2021 semester.

Spelman College Active Learning Spaces Through Title IIITo promote a safe and healthy campus environment that incorporates social distancing precautions while allowing students to return to classrooms, the College has resumed efforts to create thirty‐two (32) additional Active Learning Spaces and will continue to enhance classrooms to support the Hybrid Flexible (HyFlex) Learning model. The HyFlex approach is intended to offer students autonomy, flexibility, and seamless engagement, no matter where, how, or when they engage in the courses.

Faculty Agree That Active Learning Spaces Make a Difference

A faculty survey administered in December 2019 showed a significant impact of the ALS initiative. Overall, nearly a third (29%) of respondents rated classrooms prior to ALS renovations as Fair then rated classrooms after ALS enhancements as ‘Excellent’. Specifically, prior to ALS renovations, most classrooms were rated as Poor/Fair (66.7%) or Good (33%), whereas after ALS transformation, classrooms were rated mostly as Good/Excellent (50%/47%). The large majority of faculty said that student engagement and classroom experiences were enhanced because of the ALS initiative.

Contact Us

Myra N. Burnett, Ph.D.
Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness
Interim Director, Title III Programs
Spelman College
Campus Box 1516
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, GA  30314-4399
404-270-5027

Cynthia Roberts
Title III Projects Budget Specialist
404-270-5044
croberts@spelman.edu