University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education

Active Learning Classroom (ALC)

Student-centered, interactive, integrated, flexible, active learning spaces.

What is an ALC?

Overview of the University of Minnesota's ALCs.

Laptop support

Support for laptops and personal computing devices in ALCs.

ALC orientation

Schedule time with OCM's Instructional Technology Coordinator to review the technology in the ALCs. The Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) has partnered with OIT Collaboration for Academic Technology Innovation and the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) to create tools for faculty and instructors teaching in these active learning spaces.

This poster will be hung in each ALC to encourage teachers to send an email request to CEI for teaching tips and resources.

If you have questions about teaching in Active Learning Classrooms or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact any of the following units:

Frequently Asked Questions

Inside an Active Learning Classroom

Watch how ALCs in BruH are utilized.
Video credits: produced by Robin Wright, created by Andy Underwood-Bultmann, and music by Falcon Arrow

Watch how the ALC in Biological Sciences Center 64 is being used for a Biology class by Robin Wright, associate dean, College of Biological Sciences.

Learning Environments Research

The pilot phase of this research found overall positive reactions to the ALCs from students and faculty, particularly a reduction in perceived psychological distance between instructor and students and among students, and the view that the round tables in the ALCs are important for changing the pedagogical dynamic in the rooms.

Further, a series of controlled studies has shown that new learning spaces:

  • Help students exceed final grade expectations
  • Affect teaching-learning activities, even when the instructor attempts to hold these activities constant
  • Are not conducive to a lecture-based approach; student performance improves when instructors move to active, student-centered teaching methods.
  • Are perceived in a largely positive light by students and instructors, but some adjustment of teaching techniques is necessary.

This research is described more fully at the Learning Environments Research page summary.

"A Vision of Students Today"

Featuring Kansas State University students highlighting the most important characteristics of students today.