BIG TEN Peers Visit TILE

BIG TEN Peers Visit TILE

1140 LIB the newest TILE room housed in the Main Library Learning Commons, features whiteboard walls and round discussion tables.

January 9th the TILE program received visitors from University of Wisconsin- Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.  

During the daylong tour, our guests visited a variety of active learning spaces on campus, and met with leaders in TILE to discuss how the TILE initiatives have impacted the University of Iowa campus.

Chris Clark and William Dawson of the Learning Spaces Technology team in ITS Instructional Services introduced the TILE project and demonstrated the technology of the TILE rooms. Chris Clark commented, “This TILE classroom (LIB 1140) like the Learning Commons it’s housed in, demonstrates our campus’s efforts to deliberately match space and technology to a specific teaching and learning goal. The result has been powerful for our students.”

Dr. Sam Van Horne, ITS-IS Assessment Coordinator, presented results of two research studies about student learning outcomes in TILE classrooms. Researchers found on average students in TILE classrooms received higher grades than students who had previously taken the same course with the same professor in a traditional classroom. The study design controlled for students’ prior learning in order to best understand the influence of teaching in a TILE space. Additionally, a follow-up study looked at the factors associated with students’ learning outcomes in TILE classrooms. The researchers found that the frequency of engaging in collaborative activities was a significant positive predictor, over and above a measure of their prior learning. Dr. Van Horne also discussed the implication these findings had for the planning of future TILE initiatives.

Dr. Jane Russell, Instructional Designer for ITS Instructional Services, and Lisa Kelly, Associate Director for the Center for Teaching, discussed the importance of providing faculty & curriculum development support. Dr. Russell noted, “The important thing to remember is pedagogy first, then you can determine how the technology can support that.” Both presenters highlighted differences in the approaches to curriculum design in a lecture hall that is content focused compared to a TILE room that requires task oriented instruction.   

The feedback from our guests was very positive.

“I appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in crafting our agenda throughout the day - it was wonderful to visit so many different spaces, to have an opportunity to talk with faculty and staff who use the spaces in their teaching, and to learn more about your assessment efforts.  Thank you so much!” remarks Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs School of Veterinary Medicine, Lynn Maki.

The Interim Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chris Olsen says, “Please extend our sincere appreciation to everyone we met with.  You all were remarkably gracious hosts and we learned a great deal.”

The University of Iowa is committed to outreach and partnership with our constituents.  “We’re always happy to show off our rooms, but we especially enjoy exchanging ideas with our Big Ten peers” says IT Consultant William Dawson. If you are interested to learn more about TILE or tour our spaces, please contact us at