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University of Minnesota: A.L.I.V.E. for learning

By: 
UB Custom Publishing
The University of Minnesota won a 2014 AMX Innovation Award in the Collaboration category
Honoree: 
University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
A.L.I.V.E. is a classroom design that combines all aspects of a modern Active Learning Classroom, including video conferencing capabilities.
A.L.I.V.E. is a classroom design that combines all aspects of a modern Active Learning Classroom, including video conferencing capabilities.

While revising the curriculum for the Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy sought to make a significant pedagogical change. Rather than traditional “sage on the stage” instruction, the new model was created to promote student-created knowledge, with instructors able to direct, coach and expand on learning.

A.L.I.V.E. (Active Learning and Interactive Video Environment) for Learning is a classroom design that seamlessly combines all aspects of a modern Active Learning Classroom with state-of-the-art video conferencing capabilities. The room is designed to cultivate local active learning punctuated by faculty facilitation across distance using highly integrated and automated video conferencing.

A.L.I.V.E. for Learning promotes: cooperative learning environments that encourage student collaboration and peer teaching; technology that allows students to easily present work for review by peers and instructors; furniture designed to facilitate small-group work; the ability for instructors to interactively coach students during activities; and new options for student interaction and class structure.

“Our curriculum revision required more than existing ALCs had to offer,” says Charles Bottemiller, senior engineer at the University of Minnesota. “WDH 7-135’s A.L.I.V.E. for Learning design blew our original expectations out of the water. And was under budget, too.”

The resulting design contains 13 active learning “pods” among groups of nine students. BYOD connectivity, and dual flat-screen displays at each pod provide an engaging way for small groups to collaborate. A teaching station in the center of the room controlled by a touch panel provides a simple but powerful user interface to allow for sharing of local, pod- or table-specific student media across the room and at distance.

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