The remodeled Annie Richardson Bass Hall will be flexible when it comes to classroom space.
Numerous classrooms are being designed so that they can be quickly reconfigured for any purpose the professor sees fit, said Pam Frable, the advocate through the design process for the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
This includes wheeled tables and chairs that can be easily moved into multiple configurations, she said.
This plan Frable said, is to allow the professor the choice to abandon a more traditional class structure, and embrace what she referred to as ‘flipped’ or activity-based learning.
The idea of flipped learning, Frable said, is to make class time more interactive. Homework to learn the material will be assigned before class so that class time can be spent doing activities relevant to what was learned, she said.
“Once students get used to this type of learning they get excited,” she said. “Over time, the learning becomes theirs. They own it.”
The new Bass Hall is also being redesigned to be multifunctional for all different kinds of users, Frable said.
An example of this, she said, is widening all the buildings doorways. Not only will this help those in wheelchairs, but also those with strollers and walkers, or people carrying heavy loads, she said.
“A lot of features in buildings we only think about in terms of making the space more accessible for those with a disability, but if you design something right the space can be made more accessible for all,” she said.