Learning Environment Evaluation (LEE) Project


• Evaluate effectiveness of existing University of Lethbridge teaching and learning spaces
• Inform the planning process of future spaces (new construction and renovations)
• Facilitate communication among all stakeholders
• Disseminate research findings internally and externally

LEE's primary goal aligns directly with the Academic Plan (2014) to "[a]ctively work to enhance teaching and learning environments by reviewing emerging and established best practices in relationship to the facilities we use on our campuses." (page 9)

LEE focuses on investigating the effectiveness of teaching and learning spaces on the University of Lethbridge campus. This research will make recommendations for increased effectiveness based on stakeholder needs to inform (1) renovations to existing spaces, as well as (2) the design of new spaces. Specifically, the goal of LEE’s research is to evaluate how the physical environment affects instructors’ teaching and students’ learning. Aspects of the physical environment include, but are not limited to, classroom configuration, furniture, technology, aesthetics, lighting, and acoustics. Visit our current projects page or contact us for more information.

LEE emerged out of several Teaching Centre initiatives, including the annual Student Learning Environment Survey (SLES) and the 2011 Classroom Inventory project culminating in an interim report, which recommended an ongoing investigation of classrooms. This report also addressed the need to consult all stakeholders, such as faculty, students, and non-academic departments. Thus, LEE was formed as an initiative of the Teaching Centre in January 2012 to undertake this task.

Current Representatives

Hadi Kharaghani (Chair, Department of Mathematics & Computer Sciences)
Tom Perks (Faculty, Department of Sociology; Teaching Fellow)
Harold Jansen (Faculty, Department of Political Science; Board of Governors Teaching Chair)
Richelle Marynowski (Faculty, Faculty of Education; Teaching Fellow)
Kenneth Vos, (Faculty, Department of Physics & Astronomy; Teaching Fellow)
John Claassen (Facilities, Director - Campus Planning)
Samantha Steel (ROSS, Academic Scheduler)
Cal Toth (ITS Manager, Classroom Tech)
David Hinger (Director, Teaching Centre)
Bernie Wirzba (Manager, LEE Project, Teaching Centre)
Victoria Holec (Analytical Assistant, LEE Project, Teaching Centre)
Jeff Meadows (Pedagogical Advisor, LEE Project, Teaching Centre)

Past Representatives

Jan Newberry (Faculty, Department of Anthropology; former Board of Governors Teaching Chair)
Spencer Court (Associate Director, Campus Planning & Architecture)
Mike Spiteri (Classroom Infrastructure, ITS, Communication Tech)
Penny Secretan (Supervisor, ROSS Information Centre)
Jeff Oliver (Manager, ITS Systems Infrastructure)
Elham Alomari (Graduate Research Assistant, LEE Project)
Semedeton Ilo (Graduate Research Assistant, LEE Project)
Doug Orr (Teaching Development Facilitator, Teaching Centre)
Thabit Al-Omari (Graduate Research Assistant, LEE Project)
Ute Wieden-Kothe (Faculty, Department of Biochemistry; former Teaching Fellow)

Here is how you can get in touch with LEE! We are always open to your input. If you have something you love or hate about your classroom, let us know! 

LEE Project Manager: Bernie Wirzba, b.wirzba@uleth.ca


The acronym SCALE-UP originally stood for Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment University Physics, followed by Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs, and is now often used as Student Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside Down Pedagogies. What remained common to the name is indicative of the goals that SCALE-UP seeks to achieve: a student-centered and active learning environment.

Active Learning

In active learning, the responsibility for learning lies with the learner, not with the teacher. Active learning can be defined as any or all of the below, according to Michael (2006):

  • the process of having students engage in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how they are using those ideas;
  • requiring students to regularly assess their degree of understanding and skill at handling concepts or problems;
  • the attainment of knowledge by participating and contributing;
  • the process of keeping students mentally, and often physically, active in their learning through activities that involve them in gathering information, thinking, and problem-solving.

Project Classrooms

The Learning Environment Evaluation (LEE) project is constantly researching ways to improve classroom spaces on campus. Based on the data we have collected, we were able to turn a few rooms into LEE Project Classrooms to pilot new equipment, furniture, room layout, and other physical aspects of the rooms.

LEE Data

Data reports and data highlights from our research.