Oregon State University's Learning Innovation Center will serve every department on campus with a variety of active, technology-rich environments including 2,300 seats of formal teaching space and 640 seats of student-directed informal learning space. As 5,000+ students must exchange places within the 10-minute class change every hour, a critical design component was enabling an easy flow to and from the classrooms.
The design pulls formal learning spaces to the center of the building - with informal spaces and circulation forming the perimeter - allowing for multiple points of access to each classroom and eliminating thermal heat loss. Classrooms borrow light from wide hallways faced with large exterior windows which offer optimal views for a variety of casual meeting areas, breakout spaces and writing nooks.
Three pedagogy charrettes with faculty and students led to the creation of innovative, large-scale Active Learning environments. The Large Arena is a 600-seat classroom-in-the-round that will situate all students with 50 feet of the presenter. The Small Arena is the same in-the-round layout, but seats 300 students and brings maximum distance to presenter down to 30 feet. The Parliament is a curved, double-loaded configuration that seats 185 and encourages discourse and debate amongst students.
Bora Architects has partnered with OSU's College of Education, Center for Teaching and Learning, and Academic Technology's Teaching Across the Curriculum to study the effects of alternative large-scale classroom configurations on student learning outcomes and engagement. Researchers will review learning outcomes and behaviors including test scores, attendance, participation, and engagement, and the data collected and analyzed will inform future classrooms and teaching methods on campus.