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The ACTIVE Center is a dynamic “laptop laboratory” environment that will support curricular innovations in multiple computing courses and will serve as an incubator to explore possibilities for broad redesign of the computing curriculum. The ACTIVE approach is based on research on the power of collaborative learning to promote student success and retention, particularly for women, underrepresented minorities, and transfer students, who benefit greatly from building stronger connections with their peers through shared active learning experiences.

Our project explores the challenges of using collaborative learning in disciplines in which students must develop individual mastery of key skills and problem solving methods. The ACTIVE Center’s infrastructure and pedagogical methods will transfer well to other such disciplines, including engineering and the natural sciences.

During its development and evaluation the specific activities include: (1) investigate and select appropriate collaborative software; (2) develop instructional infrastructure for introducing new active learning techniques; (3) create new in-class active learning and laboratory activities; (4) offer pilot courses in the ACTIVE Center in the 2013-14 academic year; (5) evaluate the effectiveness of the ACTIVE Center; and (6) produce recommendations for a sustainable, effective environment for active student learning.

Code of Conduct

All individuals and organizations granted permission to use the ACTIVE Center on a one-time or continuing basis are expected to follow the Code of Conduct. Violations may result in the denial of future requests.

Usage Policy

You can read the usage policy here.


The ACTIVE Center is proudly sponsored by the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation, BAE Systems, and Northrup Grumman.


View or download the slides presented at the April 28, 2014, ACTIVE Center open house.