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Use of swivel desks and aisle space to promote interaction in mid-sized college classrooms.

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Author(s): Robert G. Henshaw | Phillip M. Edwards | Erika J. Bagley

Journal: Journal of Learning Spaces
ISSN 2158-6195

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: learning space | classroom | design | formal learning space | swivel desk | UNC | Chapel Hill

ABSTRACT
Traditional designs for most mid-sized college classrooms discourage 1) face-to-face interaction among students, 2) instructor movement in the classroom, and 3) efficient transitions between different kinds of learning activities. An experimental classroom piloted during Spring Semester 2011 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill uses clusters of stationary desks that swivel 360-degrees and aisle space to address these challenges. The findings from a study involving ten courses taught in the room suggest that there is a need for designs that not only promote quality interactions but also facilitate movement between small group work, class discussion, and lecture.
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