Changing Places: Moving the Classroom to a Collaborative Space

Last semester, I am glad that I decided to hold a class in the CommLab. I gave my class five in-class projects to work on related to our novel for this semester :’Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ by Jonathan Safran Foer. I divided the class into five groups. One of the groups had to create a new cover for the book, another group worked on coming up with a trailer for a film adaptation of the book, the third group worked on coming up with different scenarios if events that the book describes (Sep 11, for example) did not happen. The fourth group worked on coming up with a board game based on the novel, and the fifth group worked on a family tree based on the characters of the book.

The groups made full use of the collaborative space of the CommLab. They used the white boards, made use of the bean bags for discussion, and used the available Smart Board for displaying some of their work.

The class went really well, and I felt that having the students work together on this project during class time, subtly, changed the dynamics of the class. The whole class became friendlier and more vocal after working on this class project. Just moving to a neutral space outside the classroom and trying to incorporate different ways of looking at a literary work made a huge difference to the participative aspect of the class for the rest of the semester. I am glad I tried the class project out!

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