Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) are a popular concept in higher education. The idea is to free instructors from the limitations of the fixed-row lecture room, and allow more creative and collaborative uses of the space with flexible furniture, writing surfaces, and participatory technology. Students can work in teams, and flipped classroom modes work well too.
In the summer of 2013, Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS) at California State University San Marcos was charged with building a new kind of classroom in Markstein 202. This was a faculty-led effort, working with system designers from IITS to achieve the final result. The space chosen for this effort was one of our normal smart classrooms, with rows of chairs aimed at whiteboards at the front of room. It was equipped with a lectern with computer, data projection, and audio system.
The active learning modifications were deployed in the fall semester of 2013 and the room has proven popular and successful with faculty and students since then. There are now plans to deploy similar rooms around campus.