Transforming nursing education through active learning

University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Nursing

Madison, Wisconsin

Ranked among the top 20 of over 400 nursing schools in the nation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing lacked a strong campus presence and cutting edge learning environments. Realizing these gaps needed to be addressed in order to stay competitive, the University partnered with Kahler Slater to provide programming, planning and architectural services to design a new School of Nursing. The building supports the school’s focus on research, technology and practice as well as to enhance collaborative learning with the adjacent University Hospital and medical and pharmacy schools.

The design incorporates the latest technological tools, active learning classrooms, flexible research facilities and responsiveness to the environment, and nods to the nursing school's 90-year history. It supports the school's vision to transform nursing education through new curriculum and the integration of advanced technology. The new nursing curriculum is based on interdisciplinary collaboration, expanded research and outreach. The new School of Nursing includes space for faculty and administration offices plus flexible research team space, seminar rooms, clinical simulation laboratories, undergraduate and graduate student spaces, conference/meeting space and active learning classrooms. The active learning classrooms allow groups of nine students to sit at tables that are connected to technology in a classroom that holds upwards of 360 students with two or three faculty members.

Powerful Results

Representing one of the most innovative nursing education and research facilities in the nation, Signe Skott Cooper Hall School of Nursing enhances collaboration across disciplines with its open design and large teaching and learning spaces.
“Kahler Slater is committed to designing an environment that speaks to the total experience for our faculty, staff and students, not just fitting classrooms and offices into a soulless space. We have been impressed with their design process throughout.”

Katharyn May, Former Dean

To support the School’s primary mission of training future nursing caregivers, classrooms were designed to complement progressive teaching pedagogies by incorporating cutting-edge technological tools in active learning classrooms.