Active Learning & Interactive Video Environment (A.L.I.V.E)
In revising curriculum for the Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, the University of Minnesota
College of Pharmacy sought to make a significant pedagogical change. Rather than traditional “sage
on the stage” instruction, the new model was created to promote student created knowledge, with
instructors able to direct, coach and expand on that learning. New classroom AV technology was needed
to support this new model, and provide a bridge between the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses.
A.L.I.V.E. for Learning (Active Learning and Interactive Video Environment) achieves the evolutionary
step forward for active learning classrooms that was envisioned by its design collaborators. The room
seamlessly combines all aspects of a modern Active Learning Classroom with state-of-the-art video
conferencing capabilities. The room is designed to cultivate local active learning punctuated by faculty
facilitation across distance using highly integrated and automated video conferencing. A.L.I.V.E. for
- Cooperative learning environments that encourage student collaboration and peer teaching.
- Technology that allows students to easily present work for review by peers and instructors.
- Furniture designed to facilitate small-group work.
- The ability for instructors to interactively coach students during activities.
- New options for student interaction and class structure.
The resulting design contains 13 active learning “pods” among groups of 9 students. BYO connectivity,
and dual flat-screen displays at each pod provide an engaging way for small groups to collaborate. A
teaching station in the center of the room controlled by a touch panel provides a simple but powerful
user interface to allow for sharing of local, pod or table-specific student media across the room and at
distance. Finally, one of the major drivers of this space – video conferencing – is available with a Cisco
HD Codec, Google Hangout, UMConnect, Skype, and flexible hardware to accommodate many other
"As the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Person notes, “Our curriculum
revision required more than existing ALCs had to offer. WDH 7-135’s ALIVE for
Learning design blew our original expectations out of the water. And was under
– Charles Bottemiller
, Senior Engineer