William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

Jackson Active Learning Center

Since William G. Jackson’s gift, we have been exploring options for a larger bring-your-own device (BYOD) active learning classroom. With help from Information Technology, the advice of a diverse group of instructors, and inspiration from many other institutions, construction began in  January 2017.

Room Features

The Jackson Active Learning Classroom, located in Rekhi Hall G05, seats up to 60 students and is configured with round tables to enhance interaction and collaboration. The room includes seven Mersive Solstice pods—allowing students to wirelessly share content from their laptops, tablets, or phones with group members or the whole class.

Benefits of Learner-Centered Classrooms

Active learning provides numerous improvements to students outcomes and instructor satisfaction. The introduction of active learning techniques has been verified to increase student motivation, success, and retention of material [1][6].  At Michigan Tech, recent efforts to increase the number of active learning environments has afforded many students the opportunity to experience these results.

Additionally, studies show an average grade increase of half a letter in classrooms which employ these methods and a 55% decrease in failure rates of students [2]. The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning is working hard to continue to grow these opportunities and is excited to provide tools and training to instructors wishing to expand their current repetoire of teaching methods.

Improved engagement, which is seen when learner-centered teaching techniques are applied, is also shown to cause improved learning gains [2][3][4][5]. Many instructors recognise the mutally beneficial experience of increased student engagement, which creates a more exciting and diverse environment for both parties.

If you would like to reserve this space for your class in an upcoming semester, submit the room reservation form or contact the CTL for more information.

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Cited References

[1] Summerlee, Alastair, and Jacqueline Murray. "The impact of enquiry-based learning on academic performance and student engagement." The Canadian Journal of Higher Education 40.2 (2010): 78.

[2] Freeman, Scott et al. "Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.23 (2014): 8410-8415

[3] Redish, Edward F., Jeffery M. Saul, and Richard N. Steinberg. "On the Effectiveness of Active-Engagement Microcomputer-Based Laboratories." (2000).

[4] Allen, Peter J., and Frank D. Baughman. "Active learning in research methods classes is associated with higher knowledge and confidence, though not evaluations or satisfaction." Frontiers in psychology 7 (2016): 279.

[5] Laws, Priscilla, David Sokoloff, and Ronald Thornton. "Promoting active learning using the results of physics education research." UniServe Science News 13 (1999): 14-19.

[6] Ahlfeldt, S., Mehta, S., & Sellnow, T. (2005). Measurement and analysis of student
engagement in university classes where varying levels of PBL methods of instruction
are in use. Higher Education Research and Development, 24(1), 5-20.