MSU Wins Award for 'TEAL' Classrooms - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

MSU Wins Award for 'TEAL' Classrooms

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Montana State University holds two active-learning classrooms that are offered to students in various majors. The teaching style is now winning the university awards.

"They can do presentations here, they can do group work, work on problems, share it with the rest of the room and how they are solving the equation or case,” said director of the MSU Center for Faculty Excellence, Marilyn Lockhart.

Montana State offers two technology-enhanced active learning classrooms or TEAL rooms to more than 850 students.

Lockhart said, "The ones that we have are five tables that are seven feet in diameter, it sits nine students so they can break up into groups of three."

Each table is equipped with three connection ports where each team can connect to the classrooms system which allows students to display their work on flat screens surrounding the classroom to the instructor and the rest of the class. The high level of interaction, Lockhart says is what students enjoy the most according to end of the semester surveys.

"They say it increases their excitement to learn, makes them want to attend class and makes them more engaged in class,” said Lockhart.

Lockhart says the classrooms are strengthening skills that employers are looking for.

Lockhart said, "Employers are looking for people who can work collaboratively, work in teams, people say it enhances their way to view other people perspectives and other viewpoints and those are all skills employers look for."

Student success is measured by the student's progression from semester to semester and post-graduation. The classrooms are offered to students majoring in anything from chemistry to political science. Lockhart says their largest groups of students are math majors particularly statistics students whose success rate has risen 20% since the classrooms came about.

"There is a lot of research that says when students are engaged in the content rather than passively sitting and listening to a lecture that they learn more so I think the most positive outcome is increased student learning which leads to increased student success,” said Lockhart

Lockhart tells me they are looking to build two or three more teal classrooms in Romney hall which the university is hoping to renovate in the next year.

The innovation in technology award recognizes the university's efforts to demonstrate the classrooms and the impact on students' performance to institutions across the country.

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