Active Learning Spaces

Active learning spaces support collaboration and interaction. Sponsored by Steelcase— a global company that manufactures furniture products—this toolkit will show how to create the most effective adaptable learning environments to meet the evolving needs of students and educators.

All Active Learning Spaces toolkit files

A zip file containing all of the downloadable Active Learning Spaces toolkit resources 

Designing for Blended Learning

Six key insights to help educators respond to the technology revolution underway in learning

Campus-wide Blended Learning

A dynamic and active approach to education, blended learning also inspires a holistic approach to campus planning.

Large Active Learning Classrooms

Large active learning classrooms are one solution to increase effective learning, but there are many other models to consider

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning pedagogically integrates teacher instruction with web-based, mobile and/or classroom technologies

Active Learning Spaces: insights, applications & solutions

Many educators are embracing a more active and immersive style of instruction to engage students

Built Environments Impact Behaviors

Learn of the research methods embedded in the design of active learning solutions  

Exploring Inner Space

A look at the evolution of the modern classroom and the digital lives of students

Formal Learning Spaces: Classroom

Different subjects and teaching methods require different classroom features

Formal Learning Spaces: Media Lab

Added work surfaces create more collaborative and effective spaces for students  

Informal Learning Spaces: Café

The design of these café services areas support collaborative group work, social interactions and solo studying

Informal Learning Spaces: in-between

Leveraging real estate in common areas give users the means for control, comfort and collaboration

Informal Learning Spaces: Library

See the results of a major study of 13 public and private college and university libraries  

Office Spaces: Admin Offices

Reconfigurable spaces suitable for interaction and information-sharing promote collaboration

Office Spaces: Faculty Office

See how schools can create more versatile, effective and comfortable faculty offices  

The Science of Classroom Design

An infographic created by USC Rossier Online to showcase the power of brain-friendly learning environments

Presentation: Harder Working Schools

An overview of Steelcase research to help you make a case for active learning solutions in your school or district

Technology-Empowered Learning: Six Spatial Insights

Explore the thinking behind learning environments that help schools capture the promise of evolving educational models

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Floor Plan: Classrooms and Blended Learning

These layouts showcase how blended learning classrooms are designed with multiple learning situations in mind

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Floor Plan: Large Active Learning Classrooms and Blended Learning

Today's large classrooms are being reimagined to support technology, multiple modes of learning and healthy movement

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Floor Plan: Makerspaces and Blended Learning

Makerspaces are trending rapidly as part of expanding strategies for student success

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Floor Plan: Student Commons and Blended Learning

A Student Commons helps students develop personally and stay engaged in the experience of learning

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Floor Plan: K-5 Classrooms

An overview with floor plans for active learning K-5 classroom layouts

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Floor Plan: 6-12 Classrooms

An overview with floor plans for active learning 6-12 classroom layouts

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Floor Plan: In-Between Spaces and Blended Learning

More than just transition spaces, lounges, hallways and other ancillary areas can be informal learning spaces for individuals and groups

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Floor Plan: In-Between Spaces

An overview with floor plans for active learning in-between spaces layouts

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Floor Plan: Learning Commons

The Learning Commons is today’s updated version of the library, designed to be a vital learning hub with a range of settings

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Floor Plan: Library

An overview with floor plans for active learning Library and Learning Commons layouts

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Floor Plan: Makerspace

An overview with floor plans for active learning Makerspace layouts

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Floor Plan: Outdoor Learning

Though often overlooked, the outdoors can be an effective environment for learning, putting the mind and body in an alert and receptive mode

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Floor Plan: Student Commons

An overview with floor plans for active learning Student Commons layouts

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Floor Plan: Node Classroom

An overview with floor plans for Node Classroom solutions layouts, which give teachers and students multiple flexible grouping options

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Floor Plan: Verb Classroom

An overview with floor plans for Verb Classroom configurations, which allow clear sight-lines to maximize learning and collaboration

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Floor Plan: K-12 Thoughtstarters

A collection of floor plans showcasing a variety of K-12 solutions layouts;  giving students choice, control and ample space to spread out and collaborate, co-create and discuss

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Floor Plan: K-12 Thoughtstarters

A collection of floor plans showcasing a variety of K-12 solutions layouts;  giving students choice, control and ample space to spread out and collaborate, co-create and discuss

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Floor Plan: VR Educational Experiences

Get a 360-degree view of various active learning floor plans

Learning on the Move: Node Chair Winners Share their Stories

We asked the winners of our Steelcase Education giveaway how they've been using their Node chairs to make learning more active. Here’s what we learned.

BYOD + District-Provided Devices = A Winning Solution in Wake County

In this large NC district, the goal wasn’t 1:1 – it was offering students multiple ways to learn, collaboratively, with help from the technology of their choosing.

Adopt, Adapt and Improve: Metro Nashville Public Schools Redefines School Libraries

Tennessee's Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is blazing trails in innovative library and media center design to bring true 21st Century literacy to 83,000 students in more than 150 schools.

 
Rethinking the Library Media Center

Four library media specialists share stories about transforming libraries into next-generation resource centers that students and teachers love to visit.

Activating Learning

Hawthorne Elementary School is a very old, industrial-looking building. But once you get inside one of the school’s classrooms, you instantly see how this Baltimore County school is setting the stage for 21st Century student success.

The Newmark School Case Study

The Newmark School is focused on providing a positive learning environment for its special needs students. Administrators, teacher and parents are focused on environments that are flexible, comfortable, high-tech, and optimistic for their students. See how they are using space as a strategic tool to help students reach their full potential.

Stanford d.School Case Study

The d.School's philosophy holds that space, furniture, tools, and technology are integral to pedagogy. Students are encouraged to display their ideas and work in progress. See how they use their space to promote behaviors critical to design thinking, such as empathy and experimentation.

Case Study: Closing the Achievement Gap with Ēno

A case study of how active learning solutions impacted the Upper Darby School District, which serves one of the most densely populated and urbanized townships in Pennsylvania.

Case Study: Global Learning with Ēno

This case study showcases how two schools on opposite sides of the world— New Jersey’s Carteret Middle School and the Eigg School off the coast of Scotland—seized a unique opportunity to partner in a global learning collaboration. 

Case Study: node: Keeping Pace with Active Learning

A case study of Northview High School, where node chairs transformed the traditional classroom into a more interactive, dynamic teaching and learning environment.

Georgia Department of Education, Center of Innovation - Case Study

The Georgia Department of Education created a Center for Innovation to allow school districts to explore new solutions for active learning spaces, supported by Steelcase Education. Video courtesy of and produced by Georgia DOE.steel

Grant Helps Saluda Trail Middle School Implement Active Learning

Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, South Carolina applied for and was awarded one of the 2015 Active Learning Center grants.

Grant Helps Forest Hills Northern High School Implement Active Learning

Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan applied for and was awarded one of the 2015 Active Learning Center grants.  

Grant helps Boyce Middle School propel their STEAM program

Boyce Middle School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was a recipient of the 2016 Active Learning Center Grant. See how this school propelled their STEAM program and motivated students through the use of mobile, adaptable furniture and space design.

The Case for Space: Sean Corcorran at TEDx

Sean Corcorran, General Manager of Steelcase Education in Grand Rapids, Michigan, talks at the TEDx La Sierra University event about how design thinking is transforming classrooms and learning spaces around the world.

The Newmark School Case Study

The Newmark School is focused on providing a positive learning environment for its special needs students. Administrators, teacher and parents are focused on environments that are flexible, comfortable, high-tech, and optimistic for their students. See how they are using space as a strategic tool to help students reach their full potential.

Stanford d.School Case Study

The d.School's philosophy holds that space, furniture, tools, and technology are integral to pedagogy. Students are encouraged to display their ideas and work in progress. See how they use their space to promote behaviors critical to design thinking, such as empathy and experimentation.

Verb Classroom Collection Animation

Active learning requires collaboration and seamless transitions between teaching modes. See how the Verb classroom collection supports both students and instructors in each mode.

Node Classroom Chair and Tribeca

Learn what's really happening in today's classrooms through the eyes of a state-of-the-art school, and how the new Steelcase node classroom chair helped solve their needs.  

Node Chairs

This movie demonstrates how node chairs can change from one mode to the next in a classroom setting.

Georgia Department of Education, Center of Innovation - Case Study

The Georgia Department of Education created a Center for Innovation to allow school districts to explore new solutions for active learning spaces, supported by Steelcase Education. Video courtesy of and produced by Georgia DOE.steel

media:scape LearnLab animation

LearnLab is a proprietary application design developed by Steelcase as a result of classroom research. This animation highlights the importance of room geometry, triangulated projection and removing the "front of the room" to provide everyone with equal access to content and the instructor.

Augmented Vs. Virtual Reality: Which Will Transform Education?

Numerous studies have shown the strengths of both virtual and augmented reality use in the classroom. But which is the best fit for today's schools?

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An Active Learning Classroom
Classroom Redesign Improves Reading

In 2015, Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, South Carolina was one of 12 recipients of the Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant: bringing flexible mobile furniture, new technology and interactive learning tools.

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An Active Learning Classroom
Active Eighth Graders: Hall Middle School's Eighth Grade Embraces Active Learning

After renovating their learning spaces, Hall Middle School saw distraction go way down, and engagement go way up.

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An Active Learning Classroom
The Steelcase 2018 Active Learning Center Grant is Now Open

Steelcase Education is awarding up to sixteen schools an Active Learning Center Grant valued at up to $67,000. Submit your proposal before February 2, 2018. 

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Redesigning Your Library Means...

Over the past four years of his work, David Jakes has developed some ideas about the redesign of library spaces and what that can look like. 

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Learning By Design: New Ways to Set the Stage for Student Success

Steelcase Education and Clarity Innovations are excited to announce significant new updates to the Active Learning Spaces toolkit!

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Classroom as Coffee Shop?

When designing learning spaces, we must look closely at student experience. David Jakes discusses ways in which savvy school leaders can take inspiration from a most popular venue - a coffee house. 

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5 Considerations for Designing Makerspaces

Makerspaces are increasingly being developed in schools as an important layer to learning. Read David Jakes' insights on the important considerations for designing an engaging makerspace. 

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Getting Learning Spaces Ready for School

Back to school time is quickly arriving and this is a perfect time to ready classroom spaces. Read David Jakes top tips for 'learning ready' spaces in schools. 

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26 Ways to Foster a Transformative Maker Culture

Take a moment to contemplate what it would be like if every school had a Maker Culture as part of the curriculum. Mike Gorman explores the many ways to bring the making culture to your school and to effectively align it with standards. 

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The K-12 Blueprint: Produced by Clarity Innovations

Clarity Innovations matches the most promising technology with the evolving needs of education. By merging creativity, technology, and pedagogy, we create powerful learning experiences. Learn More