Planning for Courses in the CLSs
Suitability of Courses for the CLSs
The Collaborative Learning Spaces feature many unique characteristics that help to create outstanding learning environments. All of the CLSs have the following characteristics:
- round or rectangular tables for 4-6 students that instructors and learning assistants can access
- adjustable height swivel chairs
- projectors/screens and monitors throughout the room to ensure that all students have a good view of the materials being projected
- enhanced networks to accommodate courses with heavy use of technology
- ample power outlets at the tables or around the perimeter of room
- sound-absorbing carpet and a splash of color on an accent wall to create an inviting learning environment
- tabletop whiteboards for each table
The flyer (below) describes the qualities of instructors who thrive in the Collaborative Learning Spaces.
Instructors who are uncertain about the suitability of their course or wish to transform their course and need help, should contact Erin Dokter, firstname.lastname@example.org, for information about resources that are available to all UA instructors.
Expectations for CLS Instructors
The Collaborative Learning Spaces are specially designed to facilitate collaborative active learning strategies that are known to improve student learning. By choosing to teach in a CLS, the instructor agrees to adhere to the following expectations for these unique spaces:
- Develop a sound understanding of evidence-based teaching and learning using the resources available on this website, through the Office of Instruction and Assessment or other professional development opportunities.
- During class, use short, focused lecture segments that enhance conceptual understanding of lesson’s topics as opposed to lengthy lectures.
- Interleave small group activities and relevant explanations to foster critical thinking and promote deeper learning throughout each class session.
- For large classes, use a team of Learning Assistants including co-instructors, Teaching Assistants and/or undergraduate preceptors to provide support to students during in-class activities.
- Ensure classes are taught exclusively by instructor(s) prepared to teach in a CLS.
- Welcome faculty and others who may request to observe classes taught in the CLSs.
- Participate in efforts to evaluate the impact of the Collaborative Learning Spaces on student learning and faculty and student attitudes.
- Acknowledge that ongoing evaluations may be conducted to ensure that courses are a good fit for the unique spaces.
- Be assured that UA is fully committed to support all faculty in their efforts to achieve excellence in education.
Instructors who are scheduled to teach in a CLS but are unable or unwilling to adhere to these expectations should contact Room & Course Scheduling to request a traditional classroom.
CLS Preferred Instructors List
The CLS Preferred Instructors List has been established to acknowledge faculty who have demonstrated a strong commitment to teaching excellence. Instructors on the list are eligible for preferential scheduling in the Collaborative Learning Spaces when properly requested during the RCS Open Scheduling period. Preferential scheduling does not guarantee assignment to a Collaborative Learning Space since many factors are considered during the schedule optimization process.
Before completing the one-time application, please review the list, since many faculty were pre-approved and added to the list based on their demonstrated excellence as CLS instructors or participation in OIA workshops/mini-courses, Faculty Learning Communities and other professional development opportunities.
Note: This is a one-time application, therefore, it is not necessary to re-apply each term.
How to Request a CLS
Collaborative Learning Spaces are scheduled by Room & Course Scheduling (RCS). Preference to teach in a Collaborative Learning Space should be indicated by selecting the Room Characteristic of 35-Collaborative Learning Space during the RCS Open Scheduling period. Faculty on the CLS Preferred Instructor List are eligible for preferential scheduling when properly requested during the RCS Open Scheduling period. See above to learn about the one-time application to become a CLS Preferred Instructor.
Note: Other criteria, such as standard meeting patterns and capacity requirements, must be met to receive preferential scheduling.
Applications for Fall 2019 are due on January 7, 2019 which coincides with the end of RCS Open Scheduling. However, it is recommended that applications to become a CLS Preferred Instructor and requests for Collaborative Learning Spaces be submitted early, preferably by December 1, 2018.
To add or change sections after RCS Open Scheduling ends, instructors should work with their program/curriculum coordinators to submit a RCS Online Section Forms.
The official schedules for the Collaborative Learning Spaces are maintained in UAccess by Room and Course Scheduling (RCS). However, Academic Affairs publishes grids showing the CLS schedules to help facilitate the scheduling process. Updates of these grids usually lag the RCS scheduIes so if there is a discrepancy, the RCS schedules are the most current and accurate.