Faculty Resources

Faculty and EASL

Research suggests that a typical college student’s attention span during lectures begins to wane after approximately 10 minutes (Prince, 2004). The addition of active learning activities to your content delivery helps to consistently encourage student engagement with material. Students experience deeper learning when they are able to practice their knowledge and skills in class with immediate access to and feedback from faculty.

As faculty begin to incorporate active learning activities into the classroom, be sure to communicate with students and set expectations. Talking to students about their learning helps build a supportive classroom environment and develops metacognitive skills.

Teaching in an active learning classroom can be different from teaching in a traditional classroom. This guide will help faculty navigate the moveable furniture, technology, and other unique features in an active learning classroom.


A presentation hall with students sitting in chairs

Scheduling a Class in Mell

Auburn University faculty will receive a survey before each semester to determine their interest in teaching in Mell or another EASL space on campus. Faculty will indicate their space preference from the following list:

  • Mell Classroom @ RBD Library
  • Haley Center 2213
  • Science Center Classroom Building 118
  • Miller Hall EASL Lite classrooms

Faculty scheduled to teach in the Mell Classroom Building @ RBD Library will recognize the classroom name as either MELL or LIBRY.

Teaching in Mell

Any class that does not require specialized equipment (i.e. lab equipment) can be taught in Mell. All faculty members are able to teach in Mell; faculty with previous professional development focused on rethinking courses to increase active learning opportunities for students are given scheduling preference. The Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning provides faculty with the professional development necessary to excel in active learning spaces.

A Mell classroom with several students sitting around tables
An empty Mell classroom with chairs and tables

Classroom Types

The Mell Classroom Building @ RBD Library has three different levels of EASL classrooms:

  • Full EASL – Allows for collaborative learning with technology at each table
  • EASL Lite – Allows for collaborative learning with flexible furniture
  • Lecture Halls – Allows for easy large group formation through furniture design

Biggio Center

The Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning supports faculty in all facets of engaged and active student learning. Each summer, the Biggio Center hosts seminars to help faculty develop innovative methods and approaches to teaching in active learning spaces. Faculty can also schedule consultations with Biggio Center staff to explore innovative instructional technologies, active learning strategies and more.

A presenter talks to people in a Mell classroom