picture collage – DAL main webpage

Welcome to the Dawson Active Learning Classroom website. Active Learning classroom development at Dawson started in 2008 and is driven by faculty in an iterative, design-based implementation research process. Currently, Dawson has a range of active learning classrooms that include 3 high-tech, 5 low-tech, and 5 specialized spaces.

To book/reserve a Dawson active learning classroom, check the availability in the classroom schedule in Outlook to see if your time slot is available and then fill out the classroom booking form. For more information on the booking process, please go to the DALC booking page.


History of active learning classroom development at Dawson

The development of active learning classrooms at Dawson began in 2008 when a group of faculty from the physics department, building on active learning pedagogical research, began to re-design two of the four physics teaching labs. After an extensive consultation and design process across multiple levels and institutions, these new labs were inaugurated in the fall of 2009.

Based on the success of the physics labs, and building on data from the use of those spaces, a series of other spaces were designed and built for active learning, including general classrooms for any course, teacher or discipline, and other specialized spaces. The first general classroom for active learning was built in 2011 and it features student-dedicated SMART Boards and custom designed student-group tables. Now, Dawson has a number of active learning classrooms with a variety of affordances and we support teachers in effectively using those spaces through a peer-driven Learning Communities model.


Active learning classroom design principles

Lead by faculty working in close collaboration with researchers, careful consideration has gone into the design of each and every active learning classroom at Dawson College. Using a design-based implementation research approach several Dawson active learning classrooms feature unique and innovative design features. A central feature in most of these classrooms is a focus on providing students with large, accessible, shared perceptual spaces for the creation, representation and manipulation of learning artifacts. More… 


Active learning classroom designs

Building on the principle of providing students with large, shared, accessible perceptual spaces the Dawson active learning classrooms can be categorized according to the kinds of technology used for the creation, representation and manipulation of learning artifacts. In high-tech active learning classrooms, interactive whiteboards are arranged around the perimeter of the rooms, whereas in low-tech classrooms whiteboards or writeable glass surfaces are arranged around the perimeter. In the case of specialized spaces, it is the access to lab equipment and materials or discipline specific needs that have driven the design specifics. Descriptions for each of the Dawson active learning classrooms – categorized as high-tech, low-tech, or lab sapce – can be found by clicking on the room numbers below.

Last Modified: August 17, 2022