West Virginia University will expand its commitment to innovative education with an active learning classroom that will support instructors and students by creating an environment that encourages engagement, collaboration and creativity.
The classroom in the Health and Education Building, valued at $67,000, will be ready by the Fall 2019 semester and will be a varied, flexible setting designed to facilitate the hands-on experimentation and problem-solving that 21st century learning demands.
“Active learning represents the foundational component of student success, including opportunities to engage in authentic experiences, meaningful self-reflection and collaborative exchanges,” said Dana K. Voelker, assistant professor of sport, exercise, and performance psychology at WVU. “This renovation will allow faculty to move beyond outdated paradigms by diversifying instruction to meet the expectations of 21st-century learners.”
The project will be led by a multi-disciplinary team of faculty and staff from the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Teaching and Learning Commons, classroom planning committee and Facilities Management.
Steelcase Education director of market development Craig Wilson said WVU was chosen because of a “demonstrated commitment to active learning.” The classroom will help a new group of faculty and students explore all the learning possibilities an interactive space can bring, Wilson said.
Steelcase Education will also provide training for using the new spaces and will share insights and best practices. Over the two-year program, Steelcase and WVU will partner to conduct assessments and research on how the reconfigured spaces has affected student and faculty performance.
“We are so excited to be recognized by Steelcase Education for our efforts in promoting personalized, engaged learning with our students,” said Sean M. Bulger, professor and director of online learning at WVU. “With Steelcase Education’s support, we will continue this mission and foster better collaborations between students and faculty in the classroom.”
This partnership reflects WV Forward efforts to support educators who are marrying innovation and personalized learning experiences through tailored, hands-on programs and furthers building the essential skills and knowledge necessary for students to succeed in an ever-evolving, high-tech workforce.
The grant from Steelcase Education was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit corporation that solicits and administers private gifts on behalf of the University.