classrooms and space

Getting the most out of classroom space

This post is republished from Into Practice, a biweekly communication of Harvard’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning

Melissa FranklinMelissa Franklin, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, rethought her teaching by rethinking her classroom. She created a flexible classroom, “the SciBox,” to encourage active learning, greater engagement, and student ownership.

The benefits: The entire 2,500 sq ft flexible space is on wheels – from the flat screen TVs to the lab benches to the couches – and can morph quickly to suit a given activity (small group discussions, hands-on labs), creating novel approaches to meet course learning objectives.

The hiccups, humility, and benefits of deciding to flip a course

This post is republished from Into Practice, a biweekly communication of Harvard’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning

Margo SelzterMargo Seltzer, Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science, flipped part of her course, CS161, “Operating Systems."

What is a flipped classroom? Reversing the typical lecture and homework components of a course – students engage with video lectures/online materials in advance to free up class time for more experiential or hands-on activities.

The benefits: She’s sold on the benefits of flipping – significantly more student engagement, a better synthesis of the different parts that comprise a course, and more engagement with the students who can benefit most from instructor feedback.