The Components Of A Well-Designed Collaborative Classroom

Posted by Jerry Doll on Wed, Jan, 16, 2013 @ 09:01 AM

collaborative classroomClassrooms have changed along with the curriculum and the culture. The standard lecture configuration, where rows of individual desks face a single information provider, is now only one item on the menu of educational experience. Today’s collaborative learning space emphasizes group learning over individual study. Technology plays a larger part as instructors assume the role of facilitator and students themselves participate in both learning and teaching. Classroom furnishings aren't designed to fit the educational environment of 10 years ago. In a real sense, today's collaborative classroom doesn’t even have a “front of the class” where teaching and learning are focused.

Here’s what a typical collaborative configuration might include:

  • While the room provides ample space for both seated activities and foot traffic, there’s generally nothing grid-like about the way the classroom is organized. In fact, the classroom arrangement may appear somewhat haphazard, particularly when class activities are underway.
  • Furniture is lightweight and adaptable. Tables may be designed to split into small two- or three-person units or merge into larger, round-table configurations. Chairs typically have height adjustment capability and are on casters for quick repositioning to different workstations. The instructor’s desk may be a mobile lectern that can be easily deployed and stowed, freeing the teacher to roam the classroom, sampling discussions and answering questions. 
  • Display surfaces are mounted on all walls. These range from standard white boards to projection screens to large format flat-screen monitors. Magnetic boards or cork surfaces are also available to pin up paper materials, photos and so forth. 
  • Computer technology is available to all students either at individual dedicated workstations or laptop computers that are dispensed from one location such as a mobile cart. The room has full high-speed connectivity, either with WiFi or wired connections. Remote control of all computer and audio visual technology, as well as lights and HVAC equipment, is usually consolidated at one central location. 

Nova Solutions provides the educational furnishings for today’s collaborative learning space. Contact us for more solutions to the challenges of furnishing the classroom of the 21st century. 

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Topics: Classroom, classroom furniture, classroom furnishings