The University of Iowa

teaching in TILE

TILE classrooms: Research Findings


TILE (Spaces to Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) classrooms are learning spaces designed to promote active learning. In the Office of Teaching, Learning, & Technology, we have conducted several research studies to enhance student learning and determine best practices for these spaces.


Main Objectives and Research Goals:


  • Compare student learning outcomes in traditional vs active-learning settings
  • Understand the factors associated with student success in active-learning spaces
  • Learn how instructors implement new teaching and assessment strategies in TILE classrooms




Student surveys, qualitative interviews


Main Findings:


  • Students were more positive about their in-class collaborative activities in TILE when they perceived there to be a direct link between their activities and their major assessments in the course. Faculty who monitored the overall effectiveness of groups and adjusted group membership to address problems tended to think that collaborative learning was a useful strategy.
  • Overall, students are more likely to want to take additional classes in TILE when they perceive a relationship between the design of the course and the learning environment. Thus, if students are taking advantage of the layout, whiteboard space, or access to technology, they are more likely to see the value of the TILE classroom and want to take additional courses there.
  • Faculty members who are transitioning to a TILE classroom benefit from guidance on how to use the different elements of a TILE classroom to re-design a learning activity and hands-on practice with interface, enabling them to take full advantage of the technology and capabilities of the room.


Publications and Presentations:


Morrone, A., Flaming, A., Birdwell, T., Russell, J., Roman, T, & Jesse, M. (2017). Creating active learning classrooms is not enough: Lessons from two case studies. EDUCASE Review Retrieved from


Van Horne, S., & Murniati, C. (2016). Faculty adoption of active learning classrooms. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 28(1), 72-93. DOI:10.1007/s12528-016-9107-z


Jessop, J. & Van Horne, S. (2015). Flipping forward: Improving student experiences in process calculations and following its effect on performance in subsequent chemical engineering courses. American Society of Engineering Education.


Van Horne, S., Murniati, C., Saichaie, K., Jesse, M., Florman, J., & Ingram, B. F. (2014). Using qualitative research to assess teaching and learning in technology-infused TILE classrooms. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, Vol. 2014, No. 137. DOI:10.1002/tl.20082


Florman, J. (2014). TILE at Iowa: Adoption and Adaptation. New Directions in Teaching and Learning. 137.


Ingram, B., Jesse, M., Fleagle, S., Florman, J., & Van Horne, S. (2013). Transform, interact, learn, engage (TILE): Creating learning spaces that transform undergraduate education. In R. Carpenter (Ed.), Cases on Higher Education Spaces: Innovation, Collaboration, and Technology. (165-185). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


Van Horne, S., Murniati, C., Gaffney, J. D. H., & Jesse, M. (2012). Promoting active learning in technology-infused TILE classrooms at the University of Iowa. Journal of Learning Spaces, (1)2.


Van Horne, S., Murniati C., & Saichaie K. (2012). Assessing teaching and learning in technology-infused TILE classrooms at the University of Iowa. EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research