Principles in the Classroom

See how our Teaching Principles for Designing Teaching and Learning Spaces can be applied directly inside and outside the classroom.

1.  Encourage active and collaborative learning

In Class
  • Flexible furniture promotes collaboration.
  • Work surfaces are adequate for laptops and books/papers.
  • Acoustics are appropriate for interaction and collaboration.
  • Flexible computer access (wireless, laptops, desktops).
  • Collaborative areas such as writable walls.
  • Collaborative technologies such as screen sharing.
Outside of Class
  • Flexible study spaces.
  • Spaces support informal group work.

2.  Encourage interaction between students and instructor

In Class
  • Diminish barriers such as large podiums or fixed instructor desks.
  • Instructor not anchored to front of the room.
  • Instructor and students can move about easily.
  • Promote communication through enhanced acoustics.
  • Instructor and students should be able to easily hear each other.
  • Screen sharing to promote shared accountability for learning.
Outside of Class
  • Provide areas for informal interaction (such as Faculty offices).

3.  Enriching educational experiences

In Class
  • Document Cameras.
  • Multiple sources/screens/surfaces.
  • Internet access (via wireless).
  • Power for laptops (every station or two stations).
  • Screen sharing.
  • Writable walls.
Outside of Class
  • Informal computer stations.
  • Open access for computer labs.

4.  Provide a supportive campus environment

  • Effective ventilation.
  • Appropriate temperature.
  • Natural and variable light.
  • Comfortable furnishings.
  • Storage for coats and bags.
  • Inviting, welcoming.
  • Design space for life cycle of building.
  • Can be adapted to new uses at a reasonable cost.
  • Re-use and recycle.
  • Encourage use of sustainable materials.
  • Building practices and technologies.
  • Design with operating costs in mind for service and maintenance.


For questions or suggestions on how these principles are applied to the classroom, please contact Classroom Services.