TILE: Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage

TILE: Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage

TILE classrooms are technology-rich spaces that facilitate student success by promoting active and inquiry-based learning, in-class collaboration, and increased interaction with faculty.

In a conventional classroom a teacher speaks from the front of the room while students listen. TILE rooms are designed for student-centered learning, with collaboration technology and furniture arranged for group work. Specially trained instructors use new teaching techniques to inspire peer-to-peer instruction and hands-on learning. 

The result is a welcoming atmosphere. Professors are approachable in this open environment and can help students learn on a more personal level. Assessments indicate that students enjoy these courses more, and perform better. Critical thinking and collaboration skills gained in a TILE room are crucial to their careers.

UI opens seventh TILE classroom

The UI established its first TILE classroom in 2010, patterned off of a model at North Carolina State. Two TILE rooms were added the following year, and four more opened in 2012 and 2013.

To date, more than 300 UI courses have been planned around the unique TILE design, and nearly 4,500 students have enrolled in those courses. TILE classrooms are currently located in:

  • Main Library (2)
  • Van Allen Hall
  • Biology Building
  • Trowbridge Hall (2)
  • Phillips Hall

The UI is now considered a national leader in this area, and staff members are sharing assessment results, lessons learned, and techniques through papers, book chapters, and conferences.

TILE ‘boot camp’ for instructors

To teach in the TILE setting, faculty members are required to complete a three-day institute or a four- to five-hour intensive “boot camp.” The training helps them learn the concepts and technology of a TILE classroom, and to adapt to the more student-centered environment. There are also ongoing programs for professors who wish to continue developing these skills.

So far, 123 faculty members have been trained, representing nine different colleges and 51 departments. Many believe this preparation is one reason TILE is working so well at the UI.