UofL’s Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning launched the Teaching Innovation Learning Lab (TILL) in August. The facility is a state-of-the-art space for faculty to explore and test innovative teaching methods.
Located on the third floor of Ekstrom Library, the TILL features an active learning classroom similar to what will be available in the new academic classroom building, currently under construction on Belknap Campus and scheduled to open in fall 2018. Faculty can practice using cutting-edge technology in the classroom, as well as observe innovative peers in action.
“The TILL is a welcoming experimental space that encourages and supports exploration in teaching,” said Dr. Marie Kendall Brown, associate director for teaching, learning and innovation. “The flexibility of the room and furniture, the low- and high–tech affordances of the space, and the energizing environment create a unique learning opportunity for faculty and students alike.”
Acting President Neville Pinto noted the impact a learning environment can have on students. “It’s about engaging students in the material,” he said. “That requires a different configuration of classroom, a different type of relationship between the teacher and student, and in most cases, requires a different format for the way the material is presented.”
A number of faculty have piloted courses in the TILL classroom during the fall semester. Dr. Jeff Hieb, associate professor in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, taught an Engineering Analysis II course in the TILL.
“My students have enjoyed using their own devices (laptops, tablets, phones) as well as the room’s many white boards to collaborate with one another to solve the problems I give them during class,” Hieb said. “I find the TILL offers new ways to increase student engagement. Instead of watching me work problems at the front of the room, students use the white boards and technology to collaboratively work out those same problems and learn from each other.”
“This classroom provides the opportunity to do a lot of group collaboration, which I think is extremely important for learning. You can see different viewpoints of problems or concepts from other students’ points of view,” said Jordan Weiner, a UofL student. “You don’t get that in a lot of classrooms.”
Applications are now being accepted for faculty interested in bringing their classes to the TILL. More photos from the TILL are available here, while more information about the TILL is included in the video below.