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Re: advice on classroom modifications

We've been doing a lot of research on classroom layout as part of the
SCALE-UP project. We've looked at varying the number of students per
computer, the computer footprint on the table (desktop + monitor, monitor
only, laptop), table dimensions and spacing, etc. We've found that round
tables are much better at supporting group work than rectangular tables.
We've tried 6, 7, 9, and 10 foot diameter circles. The 6 foot diameter
tables are a little tight for the students, but might facilitate instructor
mobility in a smaller space. (We put 54 students and an instructor in a 21
by 36 foot room.) In our new classroom we have 7 foot tables. (Bigger tables
are too large in that students have to shout to be heard at the other side
of the table, which leads to a very noise room.) Each table has 3 teams of 3
students. Each team has a networked laptop.

You can get more info on the classroom design by visiting

Let me know if I can be of more help.

Bob Beichner
NC State Physics Education R & D Group