We at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and Program in Writing and Communication (PWC) are all excited to welcome students to test drive our latest attempt to bring the best educational opportunities to Rice. After two years of discussion and design, the space underwent its final transformation in the summer of 2015 to become a premier site on campus where innovative teaching strategies can be employed to create the most dynamic learning experiences possible.  Our guiding principle in developing the classroom was flexibility, so everything—even down to the projector and screens—is easily moved to provide a wide range of options in terms of learning environments.   

Students enrolled in classes that use this space are asked to keep the following in mind:

  1. Our furniture and A/V equipment are relatively new. That means we may be working out bugs in the equipment or set-up as the semester unfolds.

  2. Herring 129 is not only a classroom; it is also the home of the CTE and the PWC. This means our staff will often be working in the offices while students are in class. We promise not to interrupt class when it is in session, but students might hear a phone ring every now and again or see us exit our offices to go to a meeting. Relatedly, because this is our workplace, we ask that students observe the “Staff Only” signs posted in different areas of the space.

  3. Part of the impetus for designating Herring 129 as the spot for this new classroom was to encourage people to use the second floor to observe the classes as they are being taught. Thus, we have an open-door policy with respect to observations, and students may see Rice faculty and/or other students observing on any given day. The idea here is to learn from each other and to implement what we learn in courses across the university.

  4. HermanMiller, a furniture company with interests in learning environments, worked with us on the classroom, and they will periodically ask for student feedback on their experience in the space.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to contact the CTE Director at