College of Science

New SCALE-UP classroom makes the most out of space and innovation


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CLEMSON – A collaborative project over a year in the making has transformed a large, under-utilized room in Cooper Library into an innovative, active-learning classroom that is accommodating more than 900 fall-semester students in multivariable and differential equations courses.

The SCALE-UP classroom, which stands for Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs, is equipped with 16 tables that each seat nine students. Every table is also equipped with three interactive monitors.

“This is an innovative classroom we’re using to teach in the SCALE-UP format, a popular form of what’s called ‘active learning,’ ” said Christopher Cox, acting director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. “A faculty member lectures for 20-25 minutes, and then the last half of the class consists of students working together in small groups mentored by the faculty member and three or four teaching assistants. This provides an effective format of delivery along with saving space and money.”

“The library has partnered with the College of Science and the School of Math and Stat to provide this space,” added Phil Landreth, director of academic facilities planning and operations. “And in the evenings and on weekends, this will be turned back over to the library to be used for additional study space. It’s a win-win all the way around.”

The new classroom is located on the second floor of Cooper Library in room 200-B. It hosts classes from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every weekday except for three class periods on Thursday and one on Friday. It is open as a study room for students all other hours. The conversion from a study space to a classroom occurred during summer 2018 and was completed in time for the fall semester.

“The students are able to see what the teacher is doing on their monitors, so they don’t have to strain to look at a faraway board,” said April Haynes, office manager for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. “This class is very innovative and interactive for the students. Thus far, it has turned out to be a very successful project.”

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