Learning Environments


Driven by emerging technology and insights from the science of learning, classrooms are being reconfigured across higher education and at Ohio University. Innovations in learning space design are emerging on our campuses, and the Learning Environments Initiative is intended to bring focus and visibility to this effort.

OHIO’s Classroom Planning Task Force recognizes that learning environments should be designed and sustained to be responsive to the current and future state of education. The task force is creating process, principles, and governance to manage the re-creation of our twenty-first century campuses. They will partner with faculty, students, and vendors to create experimental facilities and explore new classroom models.

Classroom Planning Task Force

Chris Ament
Craig Bantz
Deb Benton
Shawna Bolin
Lynnette Clouse
Brad Cohen

John Day
John Gilliom
Dan Harper
Greg Kessler
Chad Mitchell

Ohio University students sit around tables during a lecture in an active learning classroom

Active Learning Classrooms

Active Learning Classrooms set the stage for students to be involved to a greater extent than in a traditional classroom setting. Students are seated facing each other to encourage discussion, and they can display their work on projection screens located in close proximity to the table. The instructor chooses the screens to display centrally, which allows students to view other groups’ work.

In this space, the student becomes an active participant in the learning environment. The instructor expects the student to be involved in discussion with others at their table. In return, the students come to class ready to actively engage in the learning process. The instructor becomes a classroom conductor, managing the technology with ease and facilitating discussion to create a seamless learning experience for students.Learn how OHIO faculty members teach in Active Learning Classrooms.



Several makerspaces exist across campus, and the task force is working to make these spaces visible, as well as planning for additional facilities to be established. Creators, innovators, and other like-minded individuals can gather in these learning environments to build, manufacture, and complete projects. Makerspaces are collaborative spaces that provide an atmosphere where contributors can come together, across disciplines, to develop and invent products.

For more information, visit our makerspaces page.



Ohio University students work in the GRID Lab makerspace in Scripps Hall


Other Concepts

In addition to Active Learning Classrooms and makerspaces, the task force is working to create a defined portfolio of space types to guide the evolution of our campus learning environments. Discovery of the kinds of spaces OHIO needs will be facilitated by experimenting with prototype designs. Instructors will be invited to explore these designs with students in live classroom sessions, and the experiences will inform our investment in renovation and new construction of learning spaces.