Flexible Learning Spaces

  • Some Michigan Engineering classrooms (including two CAEN computer labs) are equipped as flexible learning spaces through the use of highly flexible furniture and integrated technology.
  • These classrooms can be reconfigured for multiple uses, such as lecture-style teaching, allowing for student collaborative group work, or engaging in a discussion.
  • Many rooms also have wall-mounted monitors that can be used to display content from the instructor lectern, or individual student laptop connections at each station if needed.

In the News!
An article and video about flexible learning space at Michigan Engineering is featured in the Michigan News: Setting the desks free: How flexible classrooms impact learning, teaching

Rooms with Movable Furniture: Availability and Features

(click to view details)
Maximum Capacity Movable Whiteboards Perimeter Whiteboards Wall-mounted Monitors
Beyster 1690 40
Chrysler 133 85
Dow 2150 62
EECS 4440
(CAEN Lab)
EWRE 104 34
FMCRB 1060 128
FXB 1008 60
FXB 1032 24
GFL 224
(CAEN Lab)
GGBL 1025 32
GGBL 1045 24
GGBL 2147 56
GGBL 2153 56
LBME 1130 58

Changing Layouts

GFL 224 CAEN Lab
GFL 224 (click image for panoramic view)

All furniture in these rooms can be easily wheeled around or folded/nested as needed. Instructors can create a variety of layouts specific to their class needs, ranging from rows for traditional lectures, pods for group collaboration, and larger clusters or circles for whole-class discussions.

There is no inherent or default furniture layout. Instructors can teach their students o how they would like the room configured, and students can arrange the furniture as needed before the start of each class.

Use of Wall-Mounted Monitors

Many rooms have wall-mounted monitors around the periphery. Students and instructors can connect their devices to the monitors in a few ways:

  • Instructor computer or tablet:
    • HDMI at the lectern
    • Wirelessly via AirPlay (for Apple devices) or AirParrot (for non-Apple devices)
  • Student laptop via HDMI at each wall-mounted monitor
  • CAEN desktop computers in the room, where available

Instructor Use of Monitors

Instructors use the touch panel on the lectern to send their source to the monitors. This is done by pressing one of the buttons under the Student Displays column:

Instructor’s touch panel from 133 Chrysler
Instructor’s touch panel in 133 Chrysler

Note: In most rooms, if the projector is being used along with the monitors, both must show the same source. This limitation is denoted on the touch screen with a chain-link icon between the Projector and Student Displays columns.

Student Use of Monitors

There is a button-based interface at each student station monitor that is used to select the monitor source:

Student buttons provided at each monitor in 4440 EECS
Student buttons provided at each monitor in 4440 EECS

Students can press these buttons at any time to switch the monitor source, and the button lights up to show which source is active. If none of the buttons are lit, the monitor turned off after a period of no signal (often 15 minutes). Pressing any of the buttons will power it back on.

Note that rooms without CAEN computers at each student monitor omit that button from the interface:

Student buttons in 2147 GGB where CAEN PC is not available
Student buttons in G.G. Brown 2147 (where CAEN computers are not available at each monitor)