Our collaborative classrooms are innovative learning spaces that give students and teachers cutting-edge ergonomic furniture and technology. These rooms meet three goals:
Teachers were called on to modify their teaching methods to optimize the use of these new classrooms. While prior methods centered on students, the new method features fewer lectures and more time for coaching and interactions with students.
Our classroom configurations provide a more relaxed, informal environment. Many teachers invite their students to give their oral presentations in the center of the room, rather than in front of the class. This helps students avoid feeling like they are in a confrontation with the rest of the class. Students who are more timid will feel more at ease when addressing their peers.
Teachers assign many group projects, which promotes a collaborative atmosphere, rather than a spirit of competition among students.
Since they have so many tools available, students demonstrate a higher level of creativity, as well as stronger engagement in their own learning process. According to our teachers, students are showing an increase in motivation through lower absenteeism rates, especially after breaks.
In Automn 2016, LaSalle College received a bursary from Steelcase to set up this type of classroom. After that successful experience, four new rooms were completed in Autumn 2017. Our short term goal is to double the number of collaborative classrooms. The longer-term plan is to outfit each classroom in the institution according to Steelcase criteria.