2017-18 Logo Active Learning Center

The Commission on College Teaching is seeking applications from faculty to teach in the Active Learning Center (ALC), an innovative and flexible classroom that supports team-based learning. This center is supported by a grant from Steelcase Education and features modular, flexible furnishings, teaching equipment, and whiteboards. The classroom holds up to 30 students.

Desired Teaching Methods

This classroom will support teaching, learning, and student success in an active learning environment. Specifically, the CCT seeks faculty whose pedagogy will support the following:

  • Essential Student Synthesis Experience (ESSE) that addresses collaborative problem-based learning OR
  • A course that develops student teamwork skills in an active learning and collaborative environment.

Research Activity

Faculty using this classroom will agree to participate in the following research activities:

  • The development of student teamwork skills. This will require the assessment of one assignment using the ESLO Teamwork Rubric. This data will be entered into the assessment software by the instructor.
  • The engagement of students and instructors in an active learning environment. This will be assessed through surveys completed by the instructor and students.
  • The influence of the learning environment on classroom pedagogies. This will be assessed through periodic documentation of class period activities.

The time commitment for faculty related to research is estimated to be 2-3 hours per course per term. This research will be collected by CCT from all faculty using the ALC. The work will be used for the Steelcase Grant annual report as well as other publications. Faculty using the ALC will also be encouraged to share their experience through CCT events, articles and research.

Active Learning Center Photos

2018-19 Active Learning Center Classroom - OW 201 (2)
2018-19 Active Learning Center Classroom - OW 201 (1)

Active Learning Center

Press Release

Oregon Tech’s Commission on College Teaching

awarded Steelcase Active Learning Center Grant

April 9, 2018, Klamath Falls, Ore. — Oregon Tech’s Commission on College Teaching has been awarded an Active Learning Center grant by Steelcase Education.   This grant, will allow the university to advance its mission of hands-on education by partnering with Steelcase to design and study a space that support innovations in pedagogy and student engagement. Steelcase Education is focused on helping schools create effective, rewarding and inspiring active learning environments to meet the evolving needs of students and educators.  Steelcase has developed this grant to partner with schools and universities to learn, document and disseminate how spaces can support learning. 

Oregon Tech’s Commission on College Teaching (CCT) is a committee of faculty and staff that support excellence in teaching.  Over the last several years, this group has developed an annual teaching conference, a week-long Excellence in Teaching workshop, new faculty training and more. CCT has also supported the modification of classroom spaces to meet faculty preferences to support student learning.  This grant will advance Oregon Tech’s mission which focuses on hands-on education and excellence in teaching. 

The new Active Learning Center (ALC) at Oregon Tech will include a complete redesign of a classroom that promotes student collaboration and engagement.  Starting in the fall of 2018, CCT will select instructors assigned to the ALC that will be utilizing team-based pedagogy.  Over the next two years, CCT will study the effects of the environment on teamwork, as well as faculty and student engagement. 

CCT member, Sharon Beaudry, describes how this will advance the hands-on learning mission of Oregon Tech.  “The Active Learning Center will allow Oregon Tech faculty to push the boundaries of teaching.  The grant will give faculty the opportunity to teach in a full scale non-traditional classroom.  This means that faculty using this space will move away from the conventional “sage of the stage” model that focuses on lecture-based teaching, to a “guide on the side” model where learning occurs through designed activities and team interactions.  This space will support many faculty at Oregon Tech that have been trained and are already using innovative teaching methods.”

During the last four years, Steelcase Education has awarded 56 Active Learning Center Grants to schools, colleges and universities in North America. This grant has grown in popularity and become highly competitive.  During the 2018 grant cycle, 1037 applicants yielded only 16 awards.  Oregon Tech finds itself in good company as Steelcase recipients include Virginia Tech, Cal Poly Pomona, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic institution in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering, health technologies, business, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through applied, relevant learning and professional practice. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls; an urban, industry-focused campus in Portland-Metro (Wilsonville); an Online campus; and offers degrees at Boeing Seattle and at other sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.