What universities are doing to create a more exciting learning experience
Students are in for a big surprise when they first set foot in the third-floor classroom of Middle East and Islamic history professor Gavin Brockett at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont.
Unlike a traditional classroom, there are no fixed rows of chairs with students eyes-front to the professor, no beige-coloured walls nor the usual shortage of electrical outlets for computers.
Instead, the second-year students enter a carpeted room painted in bright sea green and blue. At five round tables equipped for laptops, video conferencing and integrated projector controls, they sit in swivel chairs with a 360-degree view of the room. During class, they write on whiteboards mounted on the walls or unhook portable “huddle boards” (small whiteboards) for group work that includes nine Turkish university students in Istanbul connected by video conference.
“It is priceless to be standing there and looking at their faces,” Prof. Brockett says. “It turns everything upside down.”
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