The flexible classrooms in the First-Year Writing Program at NC State are active sites of research. Grant funding was awarded to the research team in 2013 to redesign the program’s second classroom, G121 in Tompkins Hall. As a result, the team conducts ongoing research and data collection in these spaces to satisfy grant requirements. In addition, the data collected is also being used to further the scholarly conversations on innovative classrooms in higher education in the fields of Composition & Rhetoric, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Learning Spaces. The data collected from this research has influenced the design of future rooms in the FYWP.
Several studies related to the First-Year Writing Program’s flex rooms have been published, including:
- Gierdowski, D. (2017). “The Flexible Writing Classroom as a Site for Pedagogical Reflection.” In M. Kim and R. Carpenter (Eds.) Writing Studio Pedagogy: Space, Place, and Rhetoric in Collaborative Environments. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Gierdowski, D. and Miller-Cochran, S. (2016). “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Understanding Expectations and Mapping Preferences for Writing Classroom Design.” In J. P. Purdy and D. N. DeVoss (Eds.) Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press Sweetland.
- Gierdowski, D. (2015). “Instructor Perceptions of a Flexible Writing Classroom.” In R. Carpenter, R. Selfe, S. Apostle, and K. Apostle (Eds.) Sustainable Learning Spaces, Computers & Composition Digital Press, an Imprint of the Utah State University Press.
- Miller-Cochran, S. and Gierdowski, D. (2013). “Making Peace with the Rising Costs of Writing Technologies: Flexible Classroom Design as a Sustainable Solution.” Computers and Composition Special Issue: Deploying 21st Century Writing on the Economic Frontlines, 30 (1), 50-60.
- Learning Glass Studios at San Diego State University
- Active Learning Classrooms at University of Minnesota
- Rooms for Engaged & Active Learning at Michigan State University
- Impact Classrooms at Purdue University
- The Learning Game at Cornell University
- Active Learning Classrooms at McGill University
Since the flex classrooms are sites of ongoing research, instructors who teach in these spaces each semester are often asked to participate in data collection. The majority of those teaching in these spaces are volunteers who have expressed interest in having access to the upgraded resources that are in the flex rooms. If you are scheduled to teach in one (or both) of the flex classrooms, instructors may be asked to assist with data collection. The methods that would require an instructor’s involvement at various times of the semester include:
- administering surveys throughout the semester to students during class time
- participating in instructor surveys of the classroom space
- participating in an end-of-the-semester interview regarding your experience teaching in the space
- being observed during class time by a member of the research team (non-evaluative observations only)