The Class of ’65 Collaborative Classroom is a technology-rich space for active, hands-on learning.   From technology to layout, the design facilitates a range of in-class activities: team problem- solving, peer-review, case studies, or working with library resources or experts.

Technology and Layout

The room has a number of features designed to enhance group work:

  • 5 round tables, seating up to 6 students each (max 30)
  • Rolling chairs for flexible group configuration
  • Projector at each table
  • 360-degree writeable whiteboard walls around the entire room (the whiteboard walls also serve as a projector surface)

Each table functions as an independent station, allowing groups full control over the display and development of their work.

Reserving the Room

The Collaborative Classroom is open to all Penn faculty/students.  There are two booking options: semester-long (rostered courses only) and one-time sessions.


Semester # of Classes Schools/Programs Represented
Spring 2016 12 GSE, Critical Writing, SP2, City Planning, Theatre Arts, English/Comics
Fall 2015 10 Earth and Environmental Science, Neurobiology, GSE, Urban Studies,
Spring 2015 9 Arabic, Philosophy, Organizational Dynamics, Earth and Environmental Science


  • One-time bookings are great for trainings, orientations, team research meetings and group work for courses. These reservations can be made through our self-service scheduler: http://libcal.library.upenn.edu/booking/cc


Teaching Tips

Quick tips for teaching in the room:

  • Give students a heads up about the features of the room and interactive nature of the course. Active learning requires a role shift for them, so it helps to manage their expectations up front.
  • Consider ways to take advantage of the multiple projectors. You might use the instructor projector to show instructions for an activity while using another nearby projector to display a diagram to complement the activity.
  • See our Active Learning Activity Bank for a list of hands-on teaching ideas.
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning offers in-person active learning support for faculty through their Structured Active In-Class Learning program. Contact Julie McGurk for more information.
  • Check the Penn Libraries website for teaching workshops and events. Join us on April 19 in the Collaborative Classroom (5-6:30pm) for our upcoming workshop — Language without Borders: Technology Principles and Techniques for Language Educators.
  • Watch this video for a tour of the room.

  • If you have questions or are interested in resources regarding teaching in the Collaborative Classroom, contact Catrice Barrett, Ph.D. (Bass Teaching and Learning Fellow) at catrice@upenn.edu.


About Catrice Barrett

With the Penn Libraries’ Class of ’65 Collaborative Classroom as a focus, Catrice is building a strong program to support faculty in using active learning pedagogies and technologies. Catrice collaborates with faculty and teaching librarians, developing effective teaching practices, and doing research to demonstrate impact. Her background in teaching, materials development, and course design is international in scope, including institutions such as Wuhan University in China, Penn, Temple University and various non-profits in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Her prior work in software engineering inspired Catrice’s technological initiatives in developing online learning and collaboration environments for both students and teachers, conducting research on students in online learning environments, and working with educators to connect practice with research evidence. Catrice holds a Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics and teaches courses in the Collaborative Classroom for Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

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