Active Learning is based upon the principle that students must do more than just passively listen and memorize. To truly understand content and “actively learn”, they must engage in analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and experimentation, effectively looking at content in three dimensions. Taking this one step further then, the active learning classroom needs to be designed to encourage flexibility and collaboration – able to move at a moment’s notice.

This video shows the Steelcase Verb product in active learning mode.

In 2015 Steelcase announced an Active Learning Center Grant and received 540 applications from eligible classrooms in the United States and Canada, serving grades 6 – 12 or within a college or university. The grant covered the furniture, integrated technology, design, installation and post-occupancy evaluation and are valued between $35,000 and $50,000 – plus all of the innovation and inspiration born of active learning.

Red Thread was proud to learn that one of the 12 Grant winners was Fairfield University – the only school in the Northeast to win! This summer a Steelcase Education active learning classroom will be installed in Fairfield University’s Canisius Hall by Red Thread’s Milford, CT office. The “Verb classroom” is an integrated system of furniture designed to support a variety of learning and teaching styles, allowing for fluid transitions between modes. This learning environment encourages dynamic movement, engagement and interaction between students, content and the instructor. Ready for fall 2015, the Verb classroom will positively impact teaching, learning and support active pedagogies for students eager to return to classes.

“The Active Learning Center partnership with Steelcase Education facilitates a unique and innovative learning environment for our faculty and students alike,” said Dr. Christine Siegel, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University. “This new classroom will work to improve student outcomes by encouraging collaboration and positively changing the dynamics of our higher education learning environments.”

Congratulations to Fairfield University – we look forward to hearing how your students respond to their new classroom! To learn more about how active learning can impact your students, consider joining us for an Active Learning Education Symposium in Burlington, VT. And don’t worry the grant will also be offered in 2016!

AUTHORED BY: Petra Geiger
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