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Active Learning Training and Classroom Renovation: Exploring Student and Faculty Perceptions in Health and Human Performance Disciplines

Mary Odum, Karen Meaney, Duane V Knudson


Active learning spaces form an important part of university learning environments and have the potential to enhance student learning, yet studies on student and faculty perceptions of collaborative learning pedagogies indicate many remain resistant. To overcome this resistance, an academic department developed and implemented an active learning initiative to assist faculty transiting to teach in a classroom newly renovated for active learning pedagogies. Five semi-structured focus groups explored perceptions of faculty and students in the inaugural classes in the renovated space to identify what they perceived enhanced or detracted from faculty delivery of content and student learning experiences. Thematic analysis revealed three themes: Positive improvements in the physical classroom environment, enhanced student engagement, and improved instructional methodology because of faulty training and classroom renovation. Key findings indicated primarily positive perceptions of the renovated physical environment, especially the tables and mobile white boards; however, participants also noted some frustrations with the furniture, classroom layout, and technology influencing student engagement and effectiveness of active learning strategies. Overall, data supported the conclusion that the classroom renovation and faculty training program effectively facilitated positive learning experiences and student-instructor interactions.

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ISSN: 21586195

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