Exploratory Hall L102

Classroom Features, Technology Instructions, and Teaching Tips

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Classroom Features
  • Instructor station (in the center of the room)
  • Projector with screen
  • Document camera
  • Wireless presentation
  • Student monitors at round tables
  • Continuous white boards around the room
  • Faculty lavaliere microphone and student wireless "CatchBox" microphones
  • FAQs and Troubleshooting

Technology Instructions and Teaching Tips

Resource instructions are still under development; for now, please visit https://learningenvironments.gmu.edu/ for more information about your Active Learning Classroom.

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Instructor station (in the center of the room)

Coming soon!

Projector with screen


  1. The projector may take 20-30 seconds to power down, and 20-30 seconds to power up on restart.
  2. Your screen(s) may automatically roll down when you turn the system on, or you may need to pull the screen(s) down using the cord.
  3. Once the system is on, an automatic screen can be manually controlled by the wall switch if needed.

Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Survey or quiz your students in real time to see if they’re getting it: Since most students carry a mobile device, you can use a free or low-cost tool (Kahoot, PollEverywhere, Quizlet, etc.) to project a question on the screen and collect students’ responses anonymously during class. For additional learning, try a three-step process: ask a question and gather initial answers; have students consult with a partner about their answer; ask the same question again. (The best part is not that more students answer correctly, but that many students have explained or understood why the right answer is right.)
  2. Collaborate with your students: Using OneDrive or Blackboard, you can share a link with multiple students so they can use their own devices to contribute to a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document that you display on screen. (This may work best if you edit in your browser; your students won’t need any special software or accounts.) Your students could help you identify resources about recent economic data, brainstorm solutions to a health services problem, compose a database of their favorite movies, or list questions for an upcoming guest speaker. Often collaborative editing allows quiet students to contribute in ways that spoken discussion might not.
  3. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Document camera


  1. Press the “DOC CAM” button on the touch panel controller to select the document camera as the source.
  2. Place the item on the white square or clear surface--document should be placed face-up.
  3. For capturing photos and recording videos of your item, insert a USB device into the USB port on the document camera. Press the capture/delete button on the document camera’s control panel to capture a picture of the displayed image.

Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Share your students’ finds: Remember that the doc cam can project a view from a student’s phone or tablet (though with varying image quality) and three-dimensional items as well as papers; your students’ backpacks and devices may have examples they can quickly share with the class using the doc cam. Using student examples can help strengthen connections between abstract concepts and their lived experience.
  2. Modified “gallery walk”: In a classroom with extended whiteboards, a team member can be selected to guide other students through the solution the team posted on the board as they move around the room. Here, using the doc cam, one or two students can bring a written record up to explain to the whole class; if the instructor selects these students at random, then all team members are always accountable for being ready to explain their team’s progress. Explaining and watching others explain the steps that led to a solution is a crucial element in retaining and transferring new knowledge.
  3. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Wireless presentation


  1. Open a browser on your device and enter the IP Address listed on the display
  2. Click Connect or Get the app
  3. Type the 4-digit code displayed on your device (the code will be different each time you connect)
  4. Follow the prompts to share your desktop, an application (Excel, Word, etc.) or a media file
  5. To troubleshoot related issues, see the Wireless Projection Resource Page.

Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Leave the lectern behind: Whether you’re showing slides, demonstrating an online search, updating task directions, or taking notes on students’ ideas for research topics, you can do so using your laptop, tablet, or phone from anywhere in the room, standing or sitting. You are free to interact with groups and individuals as they work. Also, when students focus on the screen or on each other rather than on you, they often generate more attention to the problem or conversation at hand.
  2. Share student work: Invite individuals or team members to connect wirelessly to share their drafts, problem sets, proposals, or relevant websites with the whole class. Students can share at the end of an activity, or you can invite one or two students to share their work part-way through. Not only do students get to see others’ approaches, but students who share their work in progress can revise or expand it in real time as they receive guided feedback from their peers, helping everyone see the steps involved in learning.
  3. Let students lead: Wireless presentation not only works for formal student presentations, but also lets you identify a student to “lead from the side” for a few minutes at any point in class. A student can share his/her/their screen, explain their challenges and choices, and draw connections to the overall conversation. Students might model their note-taking strategies, their programming choices, their research steps, their data analysis methods, or their design planning. (If you “cool call” students, letting them know at the start of class that you’ll be asking them to talk for a minute or two about a project or question, they may be more ready to step into this role.)
  4. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Student monitors at round tables

Coming soon!

Continuous white boards around the room

Supporting Active and Engaged Learning

  1. Make students’ group work visible: When students work out problem sets on the white boards in pairs or small groups, it gives the instructor a chance to observe their ideas, where they might be getting stuck, or where they may have a particularly interesting contribution. Asking groups to share out their ideas from their public workspaces often leads to a greater variety of responses and can invite interesting debates and feedback from peers. (Hint: If you’ll use white boards regularly, you can ask students to purchase and bring their own markers.)
  2. Make learning and problem solving visual: Asking students to draw a concept map or a mental model of a concept or process on the white board can be a helpful learning tool for visually or spatially-inclined students. It may be interesting to see how different pairs or groups of students imagine a similar idea.
  3. Elicit peer feedback in a round-robin fashion: Students may begin by drafting a problem statement or a proposal, drawing a first version of a diagram or model, or writing discussion questions or key ideas on the board. Then, you might have the students rotate in one direction to add comments, questions, feedback on their peers’ work until they return to their space to see what feedback has been left for them. This helps engage all students in pushing each other’s thinking while learning about their peers’ approaches to a similar problem or topic as part of the learning process.
  4. For more teaching tips and examples, visit the Stearns Center’s Active Learning page.

Faculty lavaliere microphone and student wireless CatchBox microphones

Instructions for Faculty Microphone

  1. Once the system is powered on via the touch panel controller, the microphones can be used.
  2. The microphones are located within a drawer in the instructor console or credenza.
  3. Power on the microphone (handheld) or the microphone receiver (lavalier) before each use.
  4. Use the touch panel controller for volume adjustments or muting.
  5. Note: Batteries must be replaced on a regular basis. Spare batteries will also reside in the drawer. For additional spare batteries, contact support: 3-3456.

Instructions for CatchBox Microphones

    1. Once the system is powered on via the touch panel controller, the microphones can be used.
    2. The microphones are located on their charging stations by the door.
    3. Microphones power on automatically once engaged by the touch panel.
    4. Use the touch panel controller for volume adjustments or muting. CatchBoxes are color-coded on the controller.
    5. Students can hand (or toss) the CatchBoxes to one another as they comment.
    6. Note: PLEASE RETURN ALL CATCHBOXES TO CHARGING STATIONS AFTER USE. For more information, contact support: 3-3456.