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Active Learning Classrooms and Specialty Learning Spaces

Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) at Stony Brook feature modular furniture and expanded AV equipment that allows for multiple device connectivity and collaboration-centered equipment such as moveable white boards and work stations.

Why use active learning?

Students are more successful in active learning classrooms. Broad-based research shows that students perform 6% better on exams, and 10% fewer students fail in active learning classrooms. (See  Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics)

"[Under active learning,] students learn more, which means we're doing our job better. They get higher grades and fail less, meaning that they are more likely to stay in STEM majors, which should help solve a major national problem. Finally, there is a strong ethical component. There is a   growing body of evidence   showing that active learning differentially benefits students of color and/or students from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or women in male-dominated fields. It's not a stretch to claim that lecturing actively discriminates against underrepresented students."

Engaged Learning Lives in Active Learning Classrooms 

Learning can happen in many ways, but when we give students the opportunity to learn in different contexts, we give them a long-term advantage in their educational pursuits. Active learning classrooms at Stony Brook support student engagement through the collaboration and innovation made possible by the flexible furniture and technology options. Our rooms feature modular furniture, expanded AV equipment that allows for multiple device connectivity, and collaboration-centered equipment such as moveable white boards and work stations.

Faculty can request their course to be held in the ALC if they are designing their course curriculum for active learning. Courses designed for active learning gear more toward the faculty member facilitating student collaborative work to learn or to reinforce material taught previously. Reservations for the ALC are scheduled through the   25Live scheduling system, just as any other General Purpose Classroom on campus is reserved.  

Active Learning Classrooms



Active Learning Activities

See the Active Learning Continuum for more information


  • Minute Paper
  • Pro-Con Grid
  • Case Study Analysis
  • Stump the Expert

Small Group

  • Case Studies
  • Complete Turn Taking
  • Post-it Parade
  • Group Text Reading
  • Peer Review
  • Respond, React, Reply,
  • Pro-Con Grids
  • Social Annotation of a Text
  • Buzz Groups
  • Quescussion
  • Think Aloud
  • Round Table
  • Debates
  • Think-Pair-Share

Large Group

  • Line-up
  • Post-It Parade
  • Debates
  • Dotmocracy
  • Fishbowl
  • Quescussion
  • Index Card Pass
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Buzz groups
  • Minute Paper

Active by Design, Our Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) are Ready for Your Big Ideas

  • Fish Bowl
  • Model UN
  • Case Study
  • Situation Room
  • Movie Night
  • Academic Speed Dating

Support for ALC Classes

  • Pre-gaming your lesson plan
  • Providing Qualitative Analysis on ALC through COPUS Observations
  • Training for Technology in ALCs
  • Training for Pedagogy in ALCs
  • Micro-credentialing in Active Learning
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