Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Department of Learning, Technology and Leadership Education

Advisor(s)

Noorie Brantmeier

Abstract

This qualitative study examined seven professors who taught undergraduate classes in spring 2016 in the EPIC (Enhancing Pedagogy through Innovative Classrooms) spaces housed in the Student Success Center at James Madison University. The problem is that we do not know how instructors use the EPIC classrooms. In order to explore the pedagogical methods and classroom amenities used in these classrooms, I interviewed and observed seven instructors over a period of nine weeks. A collective case study methodology was used to describe the experiences of the instructors during this time period. My findings suggested that these instructors often used a combination of lecture and active learning pedagogies in conjunction with the flexible furniture, writable walls, and multiple projection points in the classrooms. Teaching in these spaces encouraged instructors to re-examine instructional strategies and led to individual professional development opportunities. Overcoming issues with technology in the classrooms was the most cited drawback of the EPIC classrooms. Future research should be conducted longitudinally, over a period of semesters or years, with instructors to fully determine the extent to which the instructors engage with the classroom environment, its amenities and the pedagogical choices of the instructor. Faculty development opportunities exist in the subjects of pedagogy and integration of technology in active learning classrooms.

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