University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

New student-centered classroom to be unveiled Friday at O’Kelly Hall

The public is invited to the SCALE-UP classroom ribbon-cutting from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the basement (lower level) of O’Kelly Hall. A visitor parking lot is located a block south of O'Kelly Hall, right across the street from the UND Steam Plant.

The SCALE UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) classroom at O’Kelly Hall is an innovative, state-of-the-art teaching space, or “learning environment.” This new classroom, outfitted with computers, multiple video screens, etc., is intended to help change the way UND instructors teach large lecture-style classes, such as biology 101 and 102. SCALE-UP stands for Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs. The public is welcome to attend this special ribbon-cutting event.

UND’s new SCALE-UP classroom is being used by several biology faculty members this semester. They are the pathfinders for this new system. They will help faculty in other departments, such as physics & astrophysics, adapt to the SCALE-UP instructional model.

Instead of teaching through lecture, this approach encourages students to learn the information on their own and bring what they’ve learned to the classroom for hands-on activities and discussion with fellow students. Instead of sitting in rows of seats, students sit at round tables -- nine to a table -- the tables each have microphones and three computers, three students to a computer. The classroom also is equipped with several large flat-screen displays.

A decade of research, starting at North Carolina State University, where SCALE-UP was developed, indicates significant improvements in learning. Today, more than 150 colleges across the United States and around the world have adopted the SCALE-UP model.

For more information, contact Anne Kelsch, director of Instructional Development at 777.4233 or

Tagged as: ,