Last Thursday was the official opening of the new education building Pulse at TU Delft. This building is a state-of-the-art teaching building to facilitate the growing number of students on campus.
Blended and active learning
There are no traditional lecture rooms in this building. All rooms are setup for interactive teaching and learning. The students are grouped around a table (or can be easily turned around) to work together on assignments. Almost all walls double up as whiteboards and there are numerous LCD screens to enable groups to share information.
For the design of the building we used different inputs:
- According to the TU Delft Vision on Education we use "diverse teaching methods to stimulate active learning and use digital technologies to enhance teaching & learning" (page 12).
- Since a couple of years we have a team from different departments that created together the cookbook Education Spaces. The cookbook describes requirements for lecture halls, classrooms and study workplaces at TU Delft and contains four generic chapters: A) Pedagogic Classification, B) Education Space Typologies, C) Education Space Requirements, and D) Study Workplaces. It has been drawn up in close co-operation with teaching staff, students and supporting staff.
- Analysis of our current educational spaces and the expected demand in the coming years. This analysis showed that we especially needed rooms for 60-120 students.
- Pulse’s design came about in close cooperation with students and lecturers who discussed the preferred lay-out for the instruction rooms and the experience of the study landscape in the building. Their input has, for instance, resulted in the building having a lot of writable walls in the lecture rooms, extra lockers and longer opening hours. Students will be able to take classes by day, have a nice meal outdoors on the patio and then continue to study until late in the evening.
The result is a building of 4,700 m2 with a total of 1,020 education spaces:
- 2 terraced rooms with a capacity of 125 people
- 8 rooms with capacities of 60 to 100 people
- Three special rooms for non-standard educational settings
- Approx. 160 self-study spaces
Pulse is the first energy-neutral building of the university and scored the highest BREEAM score. The building is equipped with approximately 750 m2 PV panels combined with underground thermal storage and a triple-glazed façade. An intelligent building management system ventilates, lights, cools and heats the various spaces at Pulse in accordance with their usage.
Training for lecturers
My team is offering a short training session of 1,5 hours. The training will focus on the delivery of lectures from an active learning perspective, whilst trying to fully benefit from the didactic advantages of the 4Q system and digital writing system. It would be disappointing if these beautiful rooms would be used for classical lectures.
Tomorrow the first official lectures will start in Pulse. Then we will know how students and lecturers will experience the new building. The proof of the pudding is in the eating!