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Interactive Learning in an ALC: 'These rooms invite students to collaborate'

If you have a class where you want students to collaborate, you can consider booking an Active Learning Classroom. These flexible educational spaces in Leiden and The Hague are designed to make lectures more interactive.

All ALCs are equipped with chairs on wheels and movable tables that allow for quick and easy transitions between an instructional mode (square) and a group mode. For LUCL lecturer Myra Arends, this is a lifesaver. ‘For my course on Fifteen Centuries of Dutch, students have to do a group assignment almost every week. It's convenient if the tables can be quickly moved together or apart without having to shift heavy tables that you then have to put back at the end.’

In an ALC, the individual tables can easily be placed together to create a group workspace, encouraging students to brainstorm or provide feedback. Arends says, ‘I often set up the tables in a group arrangement at the beginning. You then see that students find it much easier to collaborate. In other classrooms, I have to announce that there will be a group assignment, but here the discussion starts automatically.’

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Working outside in the summer

Each group of students also has access to their own whiteboard. ‘I often get students to write the results of the group work on the board,’ says Arends, who has requested an ALC in the Arsenal for the next semester. ‘The tables are arranged in groups of four instead of six, which is more convenient for some classes. Not only that, those rooms are adjacent to a courtyard, so you can do some of the group work outside in the summer. I really don't understand why these rooms aren’t permanently booked. I reserved one as soon as I could.’

If you would like to book an Active Learning Classroom for your teaching in the 2024/2025 academic year, you should let your educational coordinator know by 1 March. They will then tick the 'active learning' box in the booking system (TermTime), after which the Active Learning Classroom will be reserved (if available). The lunch byte 'Active teaching in an ALC' will take place on 15 April.

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