Center for Learning Experimentation, Application, and Research

UNT's CLAW 3 Active Learning Classroom Instructional Guide

UNT CLAW 3 Active Learning Classroom in Sage Hall 230. Tables and chairs are on wheels and grouped.


This guide to teaching in CLAW (Collaborative Learning and Active Workspaces) 3 Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) reviews the recent literature on the experience and impact of teaching and learning in ALCs. Suggestions for teaching strategies and activity ideas are included. Please contact for questions about UNT’s CLAW 3 classrooms. Instructional technology videos can be found on the UNT DSI Tech Youtube channel.

What is Active Learning?

Broadly speaking, active learning is defined as doing and thinking about doing (Bonwell & Eison, 1991). Students are actively engaged in the learning process and applying higher order thinking skills. Active learning is an important component of teaching in ALCs, but the room itself also contributes.

What is an Active Learning Classroom?

Active learning classrooms (ALCs) are intentionally designed for the purpose of active learning (Talbert & Mor-Avi, 2019). Group work is emphasized in the layout of UNT’s CLAW 3 classrooms. One way to think about group stations in CLAW 3 classrooms is as in-person version of “break out rooms” in virtual meetings. It has also been suggested that they remind instructors and students of the cozy feeling of sitting around a kitchen table (Copridge, 2021).

In addition to a projection screen and document camera for the instructor to display information to the whole class, each group station has a screen and connection that allow students to display information in their small groups. Instrumental in creating a collaborative group experience, CLAW 3 rooms are designed with movable tables and chairs. These tables are in groups of four or eight students, each with a wall display (Figure 1).
Figure 1

CLAW 3 Room in Sage 230