Student-Centered Active Learning at Rice (or "SCAL@R") is an alternative teaching and learning method employed in some Rice classes. In a SCAL@R class, classroom time features students in small discussion groups instead of the traditional seating in a large lecture hall. SCAL@R is a means of making a large survey course feel more like a seminar, with the aim of improving student interest and retention of material.
Additional information about SCAL@R can be viewed at http://news.rice.edu/2012/10/05/scalr-shakes-up-traditional-classroom-instruction-at-rice/.
An alternative furniture layout is necessary for a successful SCAL@R class, in order to place students in small groups for active discussions. To that end, Rice has modified several rooms for their use as SCAL@R classrooms:
Rice also has modified some classrooms by replacing their standard walls with whiteboards, allowing instructors to encourage a different level of student interaction over the traditional lecture: