Owen 223 – Active Learning Classroom

Owen 223

Owen 223 room has been refurbished (May 2017) to provide a range of new options for academic staff and their students.

Room 223

Active learning

Room 223 has been designed as a student-centred active classroom. See the following toolkit page on teaching in active learning classrooms: https://wp.me/P6a2Y6-mI

Group-based teaching

The room is set out for group-based teaching with integrated media capture facilities. There are 5 group stations. Group tables seat 6 students. This means groups can work as a whole, sub-divided in two triads, or as three pairs during a session.

Light flexible furniture

There are extra chairs and tables to accommodate larger classes. These can be cleared to one side to increase floor space when they are not needed.

Lectern and controlling multiple screens

In the Active Learning Classroom, there is no single ‘teaching wall’. Instead the academic is positioned in the centre of the room or works closely with student groups during the session. A wall mounted control centre provides access to the usual computing and projection facilities. It is recommended that a Bluetooth clicker or portable keyboard is used to control the main PC.

The following video provides a quick overview of how to use the screens around the room:

Floor-based learning and space for activities

There is adequate floor space available for running activities such as ‘goldfish bowls’ in which small groups address a problem with peers on-looking to analyse it. Such activities can be video recorded (see the ceiling mounted video camera), shared and analysed later by the tutor and students.

Integrated audio video for group activities

Green screen boardsEach bay is fitted with a short-throw data projector that casts an image onto its respective whiteboard. Each table group can use their projector to support their group work. They can also be used as repeater screens for sharing the teacher’s presentation, or for highlighting the work of one of the groups. A faceplate for each group work bay is available for connecting laptops, tablets, etc.One useful technique is to present a digital image representing ‘a problem’ or graphic-based challenge. The group can then annotate this on the underlying whiteboard.

Each group table has a microphone capable of recording group conversations and a good quality wall-mounted webcam facility. Groups can record and playback either group activities and discussions or individual presentations.

Acoustic treatment has been added to the bays and the mobile green screens to improve the recordings of conversations. Note: the acoustic treatment boards mounted on the bay pillars should not be written on.


The room includes plentiful whiteboards to support student group work. Whiteboarding activities are ideal for developing whole group engagement in problem-based learning and idea generation activities. Mobile whiteboards allow groups to collaborate and easily exchange their work with other groups.

Green screen recording

Mobile green screens (doubling as whiteboards and acoustic treatment) have been included in the room so that backgrounds can be superimposed into video recordings. This will help staff and students to create simulations or set up ‘video scenarios’ for teaching and learning.

Video for Self and Peer Observation of Teaching

Book the room and use the facilities for recording your own teaching, then use your recording to reflect on your own use of innovative methods or to review your general approach to teaching. Recording can be used as the basis for Peer Review & Enhancement.

Laptop loan

A laptop cabinet outside of the room ensures that groups have access to computing in the room for table group work.

laptop cabinet

laptop cabinet

See also

The Future Learning Spaces Group is keen to explore ways in which this room can be used. Please contact us through Teaching Essentials to discuss your own ideas and how they can be supported.