Rethinking the classroom environment to improve student success

Steelcase Education has launched Verb™, an integrated mobile classroom collection which can transform any room into an active learning space. The collection includes tables, whiteboards and instructor stations, carefully designed to support a full range of teaching and learning styles.

Despite the emergence of online and blended learning, the classroom remains essential to education.  However, times are changing and the old fashioned classroom cannot service the needs of the modern learning environment.  Research has shown that, the traditional lecture mode is decreasing (46.9%) and class discussions and group learning are on the increase by 72.3% and 23.4% respectively.

The traditional classroom model with its fixed, forward facing row-by-column furniture is simply not equipped for evolving teaching methods and teachers and learners are being impeded by a lack of mobility.

Steelcase education verb

Sean Corcorran, General Manager of Steelcase Education said:

"The 21st century classroom needs to be a more flexible environment that helps students become engaged in their own learning journey.

"Classrooms need to adapt and become learner centric, adopting active learning and embracing technology that supports varied educational strategies."

Whether it be a group discussion, a lecture or a test, Verb tables are designed to support different modes of learning and the Verb whiteboard is the foundation for collaboration and presentation. Verb's unique shapes encourage interaction, and the variety in size allows it to work in any classroom.

The three components of Verb include:

Instructor station:

This unit provides easy access to storage and an adjustable lectern, which rotates 360-degrees in two directions to accommodate standing and perching postures during instruction. A work zone and collaborative zone support other instruction needs. Casters allow instructors to quickly and easily adjust to different learning modes during class time.

Student tables:

Unique chevron shaped tables enhance sightlines, so students can see each other, the instructor and presenters in every mode. Collaborative tools are supported right at the table, standard casters make transitions between different learning modes easier

Board display:

The easel allows for effective display, storage and presentation of the whiteboards, wherever collaboration might occur in the classroom. A durable wall track and hooks provide even more options for presentations.

Corcorran added: "Verb gives students permission to share, build ideas and quickly transition among learning modes. At the same time, teachers can instruct from different positions in the room and seamlessly transition from lecture, to group discussion and test mode. With a more flexible classroom, students are more engaged with the content and with each other, and more likely to be successful."

As part of the Steelcase Education range, the iconic classroom chair Node, has also promoted student engagement and active learning since 2010 and has even more features to help maximize student success:

New adjustable-height five-star base, which allows plenty of movement. Customers now have the choice of tripod with storage or five-star with seat-height adjustability.

Tablet stand on the work surface, to accommodate the growing number of students downloading textbooks. The stand holds tablet computers and smartphones in user-friendly positions, making content easy to view and freeing up space on the work surface for other class materials.

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