A workshop at the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) which helps to promote teaching as an area of practice and help people who want to broaden their skillsets and participate in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The key points from the workshop are as follows: 

— Flexible furniture that can accommodate various uses can also facilitate active learning, and teachers are open to moving away from neat rows of desks.

— Integrating indoor and outdoor space is an easy way to expand the learning environment, with the added value of expanding outreach. Watching others learn can be infectious.

— From high tech to high touch, tools and equipment like smart boards, computers, and wall writing surfaces are needed to create a functioning and active learning space.

— Instructors are embracing opportunities to be more effective teachers. They are interested in reaching students and engaging them in thought.

— When using high-tech equipment, it’s important that batteries are charged and everything is functioning properly. We learned first-hand how much instruction time is lost when there are technical problems.

— You can have an active learning environment without high technology. There are plenty of other ways to engage students and encourage curiosity.

— Students are tech savvy. It takes little time for them to master new tools.

— Students are accustomed to receiving knowledge and information in multiple ways. They have a quick uptake on platforms and methods, which allows them to engage in lessons quickly.

— Many students find lectures to be boring.

— More students are graduating as a result of active learning. As the learning environment starts to mirror workplace and creative environments, students are finding the lessons to be relevant.

As designers, we have a great responsibility to be futuristic in our thinking and help our clients by being lifelong learners ourselves.