Introducing 'The Teaching Lab' in COLT's Yurt Classroom

Oct 11, 2017

The Centre of Learning Transformation’s yurt will serve as The Teaching Lab – a place for inspiration and innovation to promote and elevate teaching and learning at Coast Mountain College. Here, faculty will be invited and supported to explore experiential place based ways of designing curriculum, delivering instruction and assessing learning.


What is a yurt?

Once described as “an architectural wonder” by Architectural Digest, the traditional nomadic home of Mongolia and surrounding regions, typically referred to as a Ger, has been widely used for thousands of years. Key factors in defining a yurt are that it is portable, circular, has an accordion lattice wall, a tension band, radial rafters leading up to a central compression ring and is covered in felt or fabric (From


Why a yurt?

Three reasons:

  1. Physical shape directs usage – a yurt is round, lending itself easily to active, participatory learning.
  2. It stands out as different which creates intrigue and invites learners out of their comfort zones to help facilitate experimentation with teaching and learning.
  3. The yurt is a visual artifact that signifies our intentions to move towards experiential place-based learning.


How will it be used?

  • As an innovative teaching and learning space for classes. Instructors will collaborate with COLT facilitators to teach with intention in this unique classroom. For Winter 2018, all yurt instructors will be asking how space influences learning, documenting their answers to share in Spring 2018.
  • As a much needed additional meeting space that is comfortable and spacious.
  • As space for community connections, such as professional development opportunities for K-12 educators.
  • As a revenue generating rental space.