Spotlight on Biology 2 - 350

B2-350 was a standard lecture-style classroom, with rows of tables, movable chairs, and a raised dais and instructor console with one blackboard to clearly signal the front of the room.

The room was repurposed as a flexible classroom space, including:

  • movable tables that can be configured into pods of different sizes or rows,
  • movable chairs,
  • multiple white boards around the room to enable group work, and
  • sound baffling measures such as carpeting.

The classroom capacity changed from 70 to 42 (without social distancing) with the new design. Both instructors and students responded positively to these changes:

Feature Instructor feedback Student feedback
Space to move around        "I appreciated the flexibility to arrange tables and chairs, and the space to walk among the different groups." "Plenty of room to spread out coursework on the tables. The tables were conducive to group work and there was ample space between seats for the professor to lean in to help or talk to us as a group."
Multiple white boards "Having so many board options is great, as we can draw/write and not have to erase immediately to clear more board space." "The abundance of writing surfaces worked really well for collaboration and exploring ideas in groups."
Flexible seating           "Once, I put the students into tables for two students each for a paired activity; once, I put them as 16 individual tables; mostly I put them in groups. One time, we all faced the whiteboard on the side of the classroom, so we put all the chairs on one side of the tables only. That was really handy." "People could talk together and work together with other people at their table. It was easy to split the class into collaborative groups."