Active Learning in Theatre Hall 316

Good-bye, rust-colored chalkboards! Over summer 2018, dust-covered Theatre Hall 316 was transformed into a collaborative learning space. Those who teach and learn in this room may structure it in multiple ways to foster learning and engagement — with or without the use of its state-of-the-art technology (further resources below).

Instructors and students will have access to six computers with LCD screens, and one computer with access to a main projector & screen. More importantly, the classroom furniture is easy to move and reconfigure to support various forms of engaged pedagogy. A few of these configurations are highlighted below. (We couldn’t resist giving them goofy-sounding names as a nod to one popular Swedish furniture retailer.)

The first configuration, “Kerjasama,” is for classes in which groups of students work directly with the technology. The room allows groups of six to organize around a computer and screen.  Instructors and students will have access to 6 computers with LCD screens, and one computer with access to the projector & screen. The use of a matrix will allow them to share one screen across all, or to allow for each of the seven computers to display on a given screen at the same time. Student groups may choose to use the installed computer associated with their group or they may connect their own devices to their group’s LCD screen using an HDMI or VGA cable.

Kerjasama means cooperation, teamwork, and collaboration in Indonesian.

The second configuration, “Le Bistro,”  allows for groups of four students to engage in group work and discussion without the distraction of technology but with the flexibility to use their own devices if needed.

Le Bistro is named for the configuration’s resembling bistro tables. Pods make for high engagement, low tech, group work.

For those interested in creating a seminar-style classroom, “the Volksregering” configuration allows students and instructors to engage in conversation as a whole group. A number of tables can be removed from the square configuration for smaller seminars.

Volksregering refers to democratic decision-making in Dutch. This configuration is also described as “the large seminar.”

For days in which students or instructors wish to lead the class in a presentation, the class will likely want to use the “Darlith” configuration. This layout allows students to congregate around the main screen and projector, and for one speaker to take center-stage.

Darlith means lecture or oral presentation in Welsh. This setup works well for more “traditional” lecture formats.

Those leading discussion may wish to use the small, movable lectern that’s large enough to hold a wireless keyboard, mouse, and a drink.

This small podium can easily move around the room.

Resources for Active and Collaborative Learning

Instructors assigned to this room who are looking for some guidance and support in it’s use, please know that the Center is here to help! If you need help navigating the technology, reach out to the Help Desk at 920-465-2309 or

Schedule a consultation

You can schedule a one-on-one consultation with an instructional designer today by writing CATL is able to help instructors design their courses, assignments, activities and overall pedagogical approach. If you’re looking for a tour of the technology with a member of Client Services (IT), contact the Help Desk ( for more information

Online readings & resources

Wish to explore research-based best practices on your own? “Check-out” any of the following readings that support active learning activities and philosophies.

If you’re looking for insights into particular collaborative and/or learning techniques that may work well in an active learning space, you may wish to explore the following well-regarded texts, all of which are available in the CATL office or via the Library as e-books:

A book with useful “just in time” strategies is:

For folks interested in exploring team-based learning, you may wish to consider:

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