University of Vermont - Larner Classroom // Burlington, Vermont

The UVM College of Medicine hired D+W to modify existing space and design a highly-flexible, technology-rich classroom specifically for Team-Based Learning, or TBL. This educational model consists of small groups of 6-8 students working individually, in teams, and as a class, sitting at tables in a large, level-floor room. The process and protocol for how the class is conducted is heavily dependent on a room layout and furniture that are different than the traditional, "all-facing-front" classroom. The Larner Classroom serves 120 students, and the architecture features:

  • a centralized plan with no "front" of the room
  • ten high-definition, rear-projection glass visual display surfaces
  • audio systems for the all-class discussion mode designed for excellent microphone pickup and speech intelligibility
  • a robust technology backbone and ample power to support multiple wireless devices
  • tablet-driven, intuitive room controls for multiple presentation modes, lighting, sound, and room darkening
  • student use of the visual displays for presentation in group discussion mode
  • furniture selections (small group tables and chairs on casters) that support close group activity and maximize flexibility of room layouts

The Larner Classroom supports the high-definition presentation of the web-based digital microscopy collection of the College. Because the glass visual displays encircle the room, a single digital image can be stretched around the room to create an "immersive mode" and environment. The furniture can quickly be reconfigured to allow demonstrations using the College’s medical mannequins.

Project Details

Owner University of Vermont
Completed 2014
Cost $1,100,000
SQ. FT. 3,460
Photographer Mike Worthington