Technology-Enhanced, Active Learning Spaces
Texas State University is committed to offering high quality academic and education programs that promote the success of all students, including research on improving instruction and student learning. To achieve these goals, the university promotes strategic investment in appropriate Technology-Enhanced, Active Learning Spaces (TEALS) and Distance Learning. These learning spaces go beyond traditional university classrooms and ongoing classroom renovations scheduled at Texas State.
Typically, a classroom setup would have forward-facing seating and a lecture space, which may also include a basic computer projection system to be used as a presentation aid. By contrast, TEALS incorporate modular furnishings to allow peer-to-peer learning supported by electronic, technical infrastructure designed to encourage group work and project-based learning, multiple presentation-ready zones, or distance learning where students and faculty may extend the learning space to remote sites. This broader vision of cutting-edge “learning spaces,” however, will still remain a classroom or lab in university space management and scheduling systems.
Texas State University already has a number of electronic technology-enhanced classroom spaces with varying availability for general use by faculty interested in exploring active or distance learning. For an individual interested in these teaching modes, access to existing technology-enhanced space may be most appropriate and can be arranged. To try out an existing active learning space or to explore active learning as an instructional approach, visit the Learning Spaces Design and Consultation page with the Division of Information Technology Services. To work in an existing distance learning space or explore distance and hybrid learning as an instructional approach, please click here.
Requesting a TEALS or Distance Learning Space
In some cases, a significant adoption within or throughout an academic program(s) of active learning or distance/hybrid learning, may justify the modification of current classrooms/labs/other space into a TEALS or distance learning space to support the change in pedagogy and delivery mode. The following guidelines will provide assistance in submitting a proposal for a TEALS or distance learning spaces. This document also describes the path the proposal will take to approval and how it will be evaluated.
Proposals are submitted using this online form. Some guidelines for preparing a successful proposal are provided below as is a link to the rubric used by the TEALS evaluation committee. While presented in brief below, each proposal requirement is hyperlinked in the list to more detailed information.
The committee meets on an as-needed basis to evaluate proposals for approval and to increase awareness among support units that provide services to academic units considering active learning, distance learning, or other innovative instructional approaches.
Guidelines for Successful TEALS Proposals
TEALS proposals must address:
- a description of the proposed classroom design;
- an identification of the space to be modified and notes on how the space will be made available for scheduling;
- a narrative detailing how the project fits the strategic objectives of the unit, college, and university;
- a justification of the need for the space based on the student learning goals, enrollment, and potential application in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), and;
- a discussion of how the academic unit has and will continue to demonstrate a commitment to the project through the following:
- specialized teaching approaches
- faculty professional development in active learning or distance learning
- course design/redesign
- academic program delivery
- sustainability planning for spaces and equipment
- implementation of SoTL related to the discipline, pedagogy, or course redesign
Consultation on specifics of these proposal areas is available by contacting the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.
The committee tasked with evaluating proposals for TEALS currently has the following membership:
Dr. Vedaraman Sriraman, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (Chair)
Nancy Nusbaum, Associate Vice President, Finance and Support Services Planning
Thomas Shewan, Associate Vice President, Facilities
Dr. Carlos Solis, Associate Vice President, Instructional Technologies Support
Dr. Karen Meaney, Chair, Department of Health and Human Performance
Dr. Duane Knudson, Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance
Dr. Kristy Daniel, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Dana R. Willett, Director, Office of Distance and Extended Learning
Ann Jensen, Director, Learning Experience Design, ITS
Patrick Smith, Assistant Director, Learning Experience Design
Brian Shanks, Director, Learning Spaces, ITS
Michael Petty, Director, Facilities, Planning, Design, and Construction
Don Compton, Associate Director Special Projects, Facilities, Planning, Design, and Construction
Cara Nowotny, Interior Designer, Facilities, Planning, Design, and Construction