Home > News > Flexible classrooms

More News

 
internship communication spca

Internship helps animals

As an intern, 2021 communication graduate Regina Donato gained valuable experience while helping the Delaware SPCA "make a name for ourselves on social media," the organization says.
 
fulbright student award 2021

Fulbright winner

Kathrin Reed, a doctoral student in political science and international relations, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award, which she will use to conduct field research in Cambodia.
 
CONNECT
Make a GiftYouTubeEMailTwitter

Flexible classrooms

Image Picker for Section 0
Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

English department professor adapts classrooms for student success

 

Stephen Bernhardt reflects on the various changes that have occurred in his classroom throughout his years of teaching.

(Editor's note: This article is part of a continuing series by University IT on innovative use of technology in campus classrooms.)

University of Delaware English professor Steve Bernhardt has eliminated paper from his writing classes. His students now work at tables in small groups and share their writing on large screens at their team tables or with the full class.

Bernhardt, the Andrew B. Kirkpatrick, Jr. Chair in Writing and the director of the Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (ITUE), has been teaching writing classes since arriving at UD 15 years ago. Since then, he has been able to adapt technology to help his students work become increasingly collaborative.

Bernhardt has always been interested in incorporating problem-based learning (PBL) and team-based learning into his classroom. One of his goals has been to create spaces where writers could benefit from immediate feedback and real-time coaching. 

In the past, incorporating technology into the classroom meant relying heavily on the presence of traditional computer labs using installed commercial software. When wireless connectivity and shared document platforms became available, Bernhardt immediately jumped on the opportunity to include these in his classes in Memorial Hall and Gore Hall. 

Initially there were concerns from some faculty about students being so connected in the academic setting, Bernhardt explained, but in a writing classroom, its really important for students to be connected to information, able to access research tools, and able to share texts with each other. 

He added that although having connected devices in the classroom can be a potential distraction, instructors can structure class time in ways that keep students on track if the tasks are well defined and lead to improved student writing.

According to Bernhardt, there are a few key elements of a well-designed team-based learning space: 

  • surfaces available for writing, including walls and boards;
  • technology that focuses the groups mental activity, such as one screen that all seats surround;
  • furniture that can be rearranged according to meet the specific needs of different classroom activities; and
  • space for free movement of teachers and students throughout the room. 

Using screens as a focal point for group work has increased group collaboration. For example, a team of students can open a Google Document and all contribute simultaneously to writing and editing. Allowing students to get their writing in front of other people facilitates peer commentary and review. At the same time, students learn the necessary markup tools to complete these tasks. 

In classrooms like Memorial 110 and Gore 218, student laptops quickly connect to shared screens, either wirelessly or with a cable, so that each group can review each others work. In Bernhardts classes, students can also access their textbook, Writers Help, from Bedford/St. Martins, so they can quickly look up what they need to know: how to sharpen a thesis statement, format a reference in APA style, or choose the right word, e.g., affect or effect.

Learning in a problem-based learning classroom provides students with good practice in collaborative skills theyll use in their careers, Bernhardt said. In many workplaces, our graduates will be collaborating on written texts, reviewing the writing of others, and working at a distance with other team members.  

These complex behaviors can be developed in UDs team-based classrooms. The collaborative relationships established in class can then support continued work outside of class, conducted through connected devices.

Bernhardt noted that having more technology in the classroom furthered his main teaching goal: to help students develop technical and interpersonal skills, creating a foundation for the students continued independent learning in writing. 

There is a lot of collateral learning in a writing classroom that enables the use of technology, collaboration, and peer review all of which is part of writing, Bernhardt observed.

In his various roles at the University, Bernhardt has worked to incorporate these elements into classrooms across campus. He has worked with faculty in health sciences on the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus and in mathematical sciences, where professors wanted not only to increase the level of collaboration among students, but also to increase the amount of collaborative writing that the students produced. 

Having access to these flexible classrooms was crucial to successfully stressing the importance of collaborative writing and teamwork in solving problems, he said. 

We are in a much better position with team-based classrooms than we ever were before. Weve got great new classrooms in ISE Lab and in Alison Hall. The Registrars Office can be very responsive to requests for these new flexible seating classrooms, Bernhardt added.

With the increased success of team-based learning classrooms, administrators across the University are providing screens in informal learning spaces so students can work collaboratively anytime. The library, the student centers and ISE Lab are all places where students work in study groups, facilitated by technologies.

The continued development of these elements in and out of the classrooms demonstrates UDs commitment to the continued development of its teaching practices to better prepare students for their future careers.  

About Stephen Bernhardt

Stephen A. Bernhardt holds the Andrew B. Kirkpatrick, Jr. Chair in Writing at the University of Delaware, a position dedicated to promoting strong writing and communication skills across the university. He is the author of Writers Help, a w eb-based reference handbook from Bedford/St. Martins. 

He teaches courses in scientific and technical communication, first-year composition, computers and writing, and grammar and style. He team-teaches Math through Technology with Alfinio Flores and Business, Ethics and Communication in the Life Sciences under an IGERT grant with Kelvin Lee, Scott Jones, Steve Tague and Tom Powers.

He is also the director of the Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (ITUE) at UD, a group of faculty who promote active, engaged learning through team, problem and project-based teaching, frequently with an emphasis on innovative technologies.

Further information

Learn more about Bernhardts work in flexible seating classrooms: Bernhardt and Downs, Gore 218

Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Image Rendition

Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.

Media Size

Cycle through size options for this image or video.

Original
50%
66%
100%
Fixed Portrait 1
Fixed Portrait 2
Cancel
Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

Insert Image

Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.

Insert Video

Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.

Remove Image

Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.

Remove Video

Remove the video from the media panel.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Move Down

Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
Move Up

Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.

Code Cleaner

Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.

Accordion is OFF

Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.

Accordion is ON

Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.

Media Right/Left-Align

Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.

 

 
News Story Supporting Images and Text
Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
Professor Steve Bernhardt has eliminated paper from his writing classes; instead, students work at tables in small groups and share their writing on electronic screens.
5/5/2015
 
Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
Flexible classrooms
No
 
 
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization