Designing Flexible Classrooms (04-26-21)

Research completed by Bekiroglu and teammates indicates the value of incorporating opportunities for flexibility and movement into higher-education classrooms.  The team report that their research determined that “(a) flexible room layout and movable furniture enabled participants to create settings that could support students’ group interactions; (b) flexible room layout and movable tools enabled people to move around to enhance student–to–student and teacher–to–student interaction; and (c) through the movement of furniture and tools and movement of people, participants were able to easily transition between different activities. The easy movement of tools and furniture widens the range of available classroom configurations to optimize engagement opportunities. Similarly, the flexibility of the classroom allows for the relatively easy movement of people. Our data suggest that such flexibility can facilitate interaction and engagement among students and instructors to create opportunities to promote both cognitive and emotional engagement.”

Saliha Bekiroglu, Crystal Ramsay, and Jenay Robert. “Movement and Engagement in Flexible, Technology-Enhanced Classrooms:  Investigating Cognitive and Emotional Engagement from the Faculty Perspective.” Learning and Environments Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-021-09363-0