Five approaches to guide the planning, design, and use of active learning classroom spaces

Image Credit: Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary

By Natasha Kenny and Gavan Watson

Post 2 of 2

In our first post, we explored what active learning classrooms were, concluding that they are fundamental to supporting student-centred approaches to learning, provide a visible artifact of an institution’s philosophy of learning, and must be seen as a critical component of our teaching and learning community.  So how do we move forward with supporting the intentional planning, design and use of active learning spaces in the context of our academic communities?  How might our experiences during the global pandemic further influence how we incorporate these spaces into our academic communities? 

Expanding upon the principles proposed by Finkelstein et al. (2016) and Finkelstein and Winer (2020), research related to the impact and influence of active learning classroom, and our own lived experience, we propose five approaches for guide guiding the planning, design, and use of learning spaces in postsecondary education: 1) Collaboration 2) Community 3) Flexibility 4) Transparency 5) Access.

1. Collaboration

One of the most often cited impacts of active learning classrooms spaces is that they fundamentally shift the social context in which teaching and learning occurs (Baepler and Walker, 2014). ALCs can create a sense of psychological and emotional intimacy, where learners and instructors are further encouraged to actively contribute, ask questions, share opinions and collaborate with each other to co-create knowledge in a learning community (Holec and Marynowski, 2020; Baepler and Walker, 2014; Kariippanon et al., 2018). Features of these spaces that best support collaboration and engagement, and foster the development of relationships include features such as: 

  • flat floors to support movement and collaboration and reduce power dynamics in order to create a shared space of learning between students and instructors; 
  • the inclusion of multiple whiteboards and writable surfaces; 
  • tables for group seating or, in larger spaces tiered seating on wheels which allows for collaboration and small group activities between rows; and, 
  • multiple screens to ensure sight lines are maintained around the room (Kenny and Chick, 2016; Finkelstein and Winer, 2020), and (if applicable) for remote learners to see and be seen by all participants in the learning community.

In technology-enhanced spaces, this may also include hardware and software capabilities to create and share knowledge within and amongst a broader community of instructors and learners (Baepler, Walker and Driessen, 2014).  These technology enhanced capabilities have become even more important as we strive to increase access to students and instructors who may be required to engage remotely in course teaching and learning activities (either temporarily or for a sustained period of time). ALCs  help strengthen relationships between all members of the classroom learning community (Kenny and Chick, 2016). They can be seen as providing critical opportunities for instructors to engage themselves in meaning-making and sustained reflection on their positionality (and power) in learning processes (Ignelzi, 2000; Savin-Baden, McFarland, and Savin-Baden, 2008) where – in ALCs – instructors are seen as collaborators and co-creators in the learning process, rather than passive knowledge transmitters.

2. Community 

Building upon Shulman’s (1993) call to see teaching as community property, this principle speaks to the importance of ensuring that the processes we use to govern, inform and communicate the planning, design, use, and impact of ALCs engage diverse members of the academic community. Community engagement is critical to establishing a shared sense of belonging, helping the academic community and individuals within that community fulfill its needs/goals, and to creating a sense of connection based on shared history and experiences (McMillan and Chavis, 1986). Fundamentally, these community processes must include collaborative conversations, decisions, work and research from all groups connected to active learning classrooms including: students, instructors, teaching assistants, architects, space planners, facilities management and maintenance staff, educational developers, learning and information technology specialists, the Registrar’s Office, student services staff, external community members and stakeholders, and senior administrators. A community-based approach to the planning, design and use of ALCs is also advocated by Jamieson (2003) who states that educational developers and teaching and learning centres can play a key role in facilitating dialogue across multiple groups in order to ensure that educational visions and goals inform the design of learning spaces. These conversations can also help to strengthen teaching and learning cultures as individuals from across academic and non-academic units come together to engage in meaningful conversations and strategic decision-making about teaching and learning (Roxå, Mårtensson & Alveteg, 2011; Finkelstein et al., 2016).

A community-based approach to pedagogical support for instructors that use active learning classrooms is also seen as critical to their success, as instructors need support in shifting their approaches to teaching and learning in these spaces (Hyun, Ediger and Lee, 2017). This support often includes intentionally designed and facilitated professional learning programs for instructors teaching in these spaces, in the form of consultations, workshops and/or communities of practice (Finkelstein and Winer, 2020). It may also include bringing together and connecting instructors who teach in these spaces, so that they can engage in informal, but significant conversations about their learnings within and across disciplines (Roxå & Mårtensson, 2009).  Finally, it should also include developing working groups with representation from across the academic community to inform policy development and processes for the continued planning, design and use of active learning classrooms.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility can be seen as the ability of ALCs to adapt to the ongoing needs of the academic community across five areas: fluidity, versatility, convertibility, scalability and modifiability (Monahan, 2002). Flexibility may include ensuring that furniture within the active learning classroom is usable and mobile, most often including mobile and height-adjustable podiums, and large work surfaces (i.e., tables) to accommodate multiple teaching and learning devices and group work of various sizes, as well as tables and chairs with wheels in order to accommodate various classroom configurations for learning across disciplines (e.g., small group work, individual seating during assessments, learning in a circle). ALCs designed with fixed furniture, often intended to support the installation of conduit to hard-wire technology and power-drops are now limited in terms of their versatility, convertibility and modifiability (Monahan, 2002). Wireless technology and screen sharing/projection has allowed for learners and instructors to share and co-create information using almost any wireless device and application. This has become more important now more than ever, as the global pandemic has encouraged us to consider how we can create spaces of shared learning and creation for in-class and remote learners and educators. From an institutional-perspective, flexibility can also be seen as critically important in terms of the versatility, convertibility, scalability and modifiability of ALCs. For example, ALCs may be designed with retractable walls and seating to convert to various sizes and uses. Simple is often best when it comes to thinking about flexibility in ALCs.

“The most useful flexible (and cost-effective) technologies in active learning classrooms continue to be movable tables and chairs, and shared whiteboards/writable surfaces that are close at hand (Baepler, Walker and Driessen, 2014; Finkelstein and Winer, 2020). “

4. Transparency

Transparency as a principle asks us to make teaching and learning processes more explicit and visible across our academic communities, and to put an end to the isolation and solitude many instructors feel when approaching their teaching practice (Winkelmes, 2019; Shulman 1993). This principle advocates for a more explicit, collaborative and open approach to the planning, design and use of active learning classrooms. From a physical design perspective this could mean incorporating glass walls in active learning classrooms to ensure the teaching and learning activities within are made visible to members of the academic community across disciplines. From a planning perspective, the principle of transparency involves making strategic conversations and decision-making processes related to planning, design, use and allocation of active learning classrooms more visible. For example, Finkelstien et al. (2016) reflect on the importance of including principles for the design of learning spaces in institutional strategic documentation, and how that has more broadly communicated the institution’s educational goals as it relates to the design and redesign of learning spaces. This could also mean managing the booking of  active learning spaces centrally to ensure that instructors and students across all academic disciplines have access to these spaces. This principle is also intricately linked to the principle of community as we more intentionally make the teaching and learning practices we use in active learning classrooms more visible, and promote knowledge sharing across disciplines. As previously mentioned, this may include bringing instructors that use active learning classrooms together to formally and informally engage in professional learning related to their use of these spaces, and ensuring these instructors are appropriately rewarded and recognized for their commitment to supporting student learning. This may also include engaging in systematic research, scholarship and dissemination related to the impact and influence of active learning spaces in postsecondary education so that we are learning from and sharing with each other across various academic contexts and networks.

5. Access

This last principle represents a call to consider how and who is accessing (or not accessing) the planning, design and use of active learning spaces and why? Higher education continues to be dominated by Western epistemologies and processes which contribute to exclusion and marginalization (Louie et al., 2017; Tamik and Guenter, 2019), and our teaching and learning spaces are no exception.  This principle asks us to ensure our active learning classrooms demonstrate, recognize and value difference, and support the ability to participate equitably (Tamtik and Guenter, 2019) in their planning, design and use. It also asks us to consider how we are aligning the planning, design and use of our active learning spaces with other institutional priorities and commitments such as Indigenous Engagement, Sustainability, Internationalization, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Mental Health and Well-Being. For example, how are equity-deserving groups represented in the planning, design, strategic decision-making and governance related to active learning classrooms?  How do we support access and engagement of learners who do not have access to technology, such as laptops? What physical, procedural, and institutional barriers must be removed to ensure that all instructors and students, from across disciplines have access to teach and learn in these spaces? How can these spaces be designed to validate Indigenous perspectives, methodologies, epistemologies, protocols, approaches and pedagogies (Louie et al, 2017)? How can these spaces further reflect and communicate our commitments to truth, reconciliation, decolonization and transformation? Conversations related to access have become more prevalent as interest in technology-enabled ALCs has expanded over the course of the global pandemic, with more educators seeking flexibility in the way they engage learners in their courses. Our thoughts related to this principle are emerging. We acknowledge openly that more needs to be done to expand upon, contribute to and meaningfully explore this principle. 


We recognize that it is not realistic for all spaces to be designed as an intensive, technology-enabled active learning classroom. Like Finkelstein and Winer (2020), we advocate for conceptualizing a continuum of formal learning spaces from intensively designed, technology-enabled active learning classrooms, through to flexible and collaboratively designed laboratories and seminar rooms, as well as lecture theatres that enhance opportunities for active learning. In their broadest sense, we believe that these principles can be used as a guide to inform discussions related to any learning space on postsecondary campuses.

How might you further consider, adapt and build upon these approaches to think more intentionally about ALCs based on your institutional context?


Baepler, P., Walker, J. D., & Driessen, M. (2014). It’s not about seat time: Blending, flipping, and efficiency in active learning classrooms. Computers & Education, 78, 227-236.

Baepler, P., & Walker, J. D. (2014). Active Learning Classrooms and Educational Alliances: Changing Relationships to Improve Learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 137, 27–40.

Holec, V., & Marynowski, R. (2020). Does it Matter Where You Teach? Insights from a Quasi-Experimental Study on Student Engagement in an Active Learning Classroom. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 8(2), 140–164.

Kenny, N.A. and Chick, N. 2017.  Learning spaces, connections and community.  TI Connections Blog.

Finkelstein, A., Ferris, J., Weston, C., & Winer, L. (2016). Informed principles for (re) designing teaching and learning spaces. Journal of Learning Spaces, 5(1).

Finkelstein, A., & Winer, L. (2020). Active learning anywhere: A principled-based approach to designing learning spaces. In S. Hoidn & M. Klemenčič (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Student-Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (pp. 327–344).

Hyun, J., Ediger, R., & Lee, D. (2017). Students’ Satisfaction on Their Learning Process in Active Learning and Traditional Classrooms. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 29(1), 108–118.

Ignelzi, M. (2000). Meaning‐Making in the Learning and Teaching Process. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2000(82), 5–14.

Kariippanon, K. E., Cliff, D. P., Lancaster, S. L., Okely, A. D., & Parrish, A. M. (2018). Perceived interplay between flexible learning spaces and teaching, learning and student wellbeing. Learning Environments Research, 21(3), 301-320.

Louie, D. W., Poitras-Pratt, Y., Hanson, A. J., & Ottmann, J. (2017). Applying Indigenizing principles of decolonizing methodologies in university classrooms. Canadian Journal of Higher Education/Revue canadienne d’enseignement supérieur, 47(3), 16-33.

Monahan, T. (2002). Flexible Space & Built Pedagogy: Emerging IT Embodiments. Inventio, 4(1), 1–19.

Roxå, T., & Mårtensson, K. (2009). Significant conversations and significant networks–exploring the backstage of the teaching arena. Studies in Higher Education, 34(5), 547-559.

Roxå, T., Mårtensson, K., & Alveteg, M. (2011). Understanding and influencing teaching and learning cultures at university: A network approach. Higher Education, 62(1), 99-111.

Savin-Baden, M., McFarland, L., & Savin-Baden, J. (2008). Learning spaces, agency and notions of improvement: what influences thinking and practices about teaching and learning in higher education? An interpretive meta-ethnography. London Review of Education, 6(3), 211–227.

Shulman, L.S. (1993). Teaching as community property: putting an end to pedagogical solitude. Change, 25(6). 6-7.

Tamtik, M., & Gunter, M. (2019). Policy analysis of equity, diversity and inclusion strategies in Canadian universities-how far have we come? Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 49(3), 41-56

Winkelmes, M. A. (2019). Introduction: The Story of TILT and Its Emerging Uses in Higher Education. Transparent Design in Higher Education Teaching and Leadership, 1-14.

Decision-Making through the Lens of Conscious Leadership

“Blow Your Mind” by kozumel is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

One of my favourite grounding statements is “We are human beings not human doings.” A quick search on the internet reveals that this statement has been attributed to many, including the Dalai Lama. For me, this statement speaks to the importance of our inherent humanness, including the fact that we feel and experience thoughts and emotions in the workplace, which give rise to actions and responses that are deeply connected to and have impact on ourselves and those around us. Each action and response creates ripples across our organizations.

This year has brought rise to constant change and challenge in our workplaces. We have adapted to situations that most of us could not have imagined. Technology has both connected and distanced us. The global pandemic has impacted people and organizations differently. For many, it has drastically shifted workplace and personal practices. It has increased feelings of uncertainty, emotional exhaustion, isolation and stress. We have witnessed disproportional impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable populations and equity-deserving groups, and many of us have struggled from poorer mental health and well-being (Aristovnik et al, 2020; Brazeau et al., 2020; Giorgi et al., 2020).

As a leader, the global pandemic has challenged my decision-making abilities, with the sheer load of required resources, responses and actions often exceeding my cognitive capacity. I have found some relief in grounding my practice through a lens of conscious leadership.

What is conscious leadership?

Being conscious or mindful is about, “observing and attending to the changing field of thoughts, feelings and sensations from moment to moment” through self-regulated attention, and non-judgmental acceptance of experience (Bishop et al., 2004, p.232). It is often described as a being in the present moment, or “present-moment awareness” (Goldstein, 2013, p. 13).  Mindfulness helps us intentionally respond (as opposed to habitually react) to our thoughts, emotions, and surroundings as we reflect upon and broadened our perspective on experience (Bishop et al., 2004; Goldstein, 2013).  

Conscious leadership can be understood through three key processes: 1) awareness, 2) transformation, and 3) intentionality (Hofman, 2008; Jones, 2015).  Conscious leaders are aware of these processes across multiple levels.  First and foremost, from the perspective of oneself, then of others through to their organizations and community.  Conscious leaders are aware that everything across an organization is connected and impermanent (in constant flux), and that these interconnections influence continuous change. They act from a space of acceptance, curiosity, and reciprocity, recognizing that every organization is bound by human relationships and emotions (Bishop et. al, 2004; Hoffman, 2008; Jones, 2015).  They act through a lens of empathy, compassion, and shared leadership, and are oriented towards observation, openness, acceptance, reflection and ongoing learning.

Essential questions to guide a conscious approach to decision making


  • What is my understanding of the challenge (or opportunity)?
  • Who is involved or connected to this challenge?
  • How does this understanding change if I view it from the perspective of those around me, and/or the organization as a whole?
  • What is happening for me, others and the organization right now?
  • What interconnections, emotions and/or patterns are associated with this issue for me, others and/or the organization?


  • What possibilities for change exist for myself, others and/or the organization?
  • How could I involve others in exploring these possibilities?
  • What actions could result in change and transformation for myself, others and the organization?
  • What influence might these actions have on myself, others and the organization?


  • What is most important right now for myself, others and the organization?
  • What is the most appropriate response? How should others be involved in responding?
  • What emotions and reactions may be associated with this response for myself, others and the organization?
  • What actions could I take to demonstrate empathy and compassion to myself, others and the organization in light of these emotions and reactions?

Like all leaders (and humans), the joy, happiness and success I experience in the workplace is balanced by challenge, defeat, failure and pain. Never has that been more apparent than over this past year. The above questions have brought mindful grounding to these peaks and valleys. I’d love to hear how/if this approach resonates for you!


Aristovnik, A., Keržič, D., Ravšelj, D., Tomaževič, N., & Umek, L. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on life of higher education students: A global perspective. Sustainability12(20), 8438.

Brazeau, G. A., Frenzel, J. E., & Prescott, W. A. (2020). Facilitating wellbeing in a turbulent time. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education84(6).

Bishop, S. R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N. D., Carmody, J., … & Devins, G. (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical psychology: Science and practice, 11(3), 230-241.

Hofman, R. E. (2008). A conscious‐authentic leadership approach in the workplace: Leading from within. Journal of Leadership Studies2(1), 18-31.

Goldstein, J. (2013). Mindfulness: A practical guide to awakening. Sounds True.

Giorgi, G., Lecca, L. I., Alessio, F., Finstad, G. L., Bondanini, G., Lulli, L. G., … & Mucci, N. (2020). COVID-19-related mental health effects in the workplace: a narrative review. International journal of environmental research and public health17(21), 7857.

Jones, V., & Brazdau, O. (2015). Conscious leadership, a reciprocal connected practice. A qualitative study on postsecondary education. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences203, 251-256.

Xiong, J., Lipsitz, O., Nasri, F., Lui, L. M., Gill, H., Phan, L., … & McIntyre, R. S. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders.

Department Chairs and Leadership During the Global Pandemic

The global pandemic has been difficult for many in higher education.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the key assumptions and beliefs that serve as the foundation of higher education” (Brazeau, 2020, p.688).

Recognizing that the pandemic has impacted people very differently, Dr. Klodiana Kolomitro and I highlighted a few of the challenges the pandemic has created at a session earlier this year with the educational development community in Canada (Kolomitro and Kenny, 2021). We summarized that the pandemic has:

1) increased workload for students, administrators, educators and teaching and learning centres;

2) disproportionately impacted equity-deserving groups including Indigenous and racialized peoples, women, persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQI+ communities;

3) increased feelings of uncertainty and emotional exhaustion;

4) caused physical, social and self-isolation and loneliness; and,

5) resulted in overall poorer mental health, wellbeing and quality of life (Aristonvnik et al., 2020; Brazeau et al., 2020; Naffi et al., 2020; Xiong et al., 2020).

Although hopeful for healing as we approach the 2021/22 academic year, the uncertainty of the fall semester continues to exacerbate many of these same issues.

The Department Chair and the Pandemic

In a recent article published in Innovative Higher Education, Gigliotti (2021) explored the impact of the pandemic on department chairs. This article highlights the critical role that department chairs hold at institutions, described as, “…agents of influence in leading the reinvention of policies, practices and patterns of behavior at the departmental level and throughout their academic discipline” (p. 430). Christensen-Hughes and Mighty (2010) further emphasized the role that these local leaders can play in either helping or hindering the decisions, cultures, behaviors, norms and practices we most aspire to see.

It won’t come as any surprise that Gigliotti (2021) found that the COVID19 global pandemic intensified leadership challenges, added complexity, and contributed to continuous emerging issues for department chairs. 

“The findings of this study underscore the important work of academic leadership, particularly the role of department chairs, in triaging immediate concerns, advocating on behalf of one’s colleagues and students, providing frequent and timely updates to facilitate an institution’s crisis response, ensuring the safety and well-being of others, and helping to restore hope when others experience a breakdown in collective sensemaking” (p.442).

Throughout this study, chairs acknowledged challenges related to pivoting to remote teaching, navigating remote meetings, and exploring methods to ensure some degree of research continuity throughout their department. They struggled with maintaining consistent and clear communication channels with senior administration, maintaining meaningful relationships and connections with colleagues, acknowledging and coping with emerging mental health issues experienced by themselves and departmental colleagues, balancing personal and professional commitments, ensuring the health and safety of students and staff, planning under constant uncertainty, ongoing budget constraints, and concerns related to ongoing pressures for renewal and reinvention.

The authors highlight the crucial role of relationships, connection and communication as departments negotiated and responded to the COVID19 pandemic:

“What we learn from the insights of the responding department chairs is a desire to connect with others— connections that are made more challenging in light of the global pandemic—and to care for others in navigating the uncertainty of the current moment. By shaping and interpreting how others react and respond to a crisis of widespread magnitude, leadership is made possible; and by recognizing both the personal and professional worries, fears, and goals of one’s faculty, staff, and student colleagues, department chairs can provide bridges of trust and goodwill.” (p. 442)

Leadership Approaches for Healing and Rebuilding Teaching and Learning

In their article, Gigliotti (2021) called explicitly for more opportunities to support departmental chairs, including providing additional support for their development as academic leaders. As we embark on healing and rebuilding our teaching and learning practices into the future, the following leadership approaches adapted from Gibbs and Knapper (2008) may provide a helpful guide and starting point for reflection for academic chairs:

  1. Establish credibility and trust: foster open communication; listen carefully and solicit ideas actively from the departmental community, especially from individuals and groups that have historically been marginalized; identify, seek and advocate for additional institutional support and resources for change; establish a network of mentors and colleagues to support on-going reflection, growth and development.
  2. Identify and address departmental strengths and challenges: actively identify departmental strengths and challenges; represent the department honestly; leverage strengths; lean into and address challenges; speak up to actions and behaviours that are harmful; focus on building and moving forward through incremental change.
  3. Articulate a clear vision and rationale for change: learn about what others internal and external to the institution are doing; seek guidance from evidence-based and culturally relevant practices; collaboratively identify and articulate a clear narrative for the future; gather evidence and feedback on change initiatives; admit mistakes, apologize and change direction as necessary.
  4. Distribute leadership: build and support a collaborative team of departmental leaders; create leadership pathways for those in formal and informal roles; surround yourself by a team that helps you address your leadership blind spots and areas for growth; ask for help; thank and give credit to others for their influence and impact.
  5. Build communities of dialogue and practice: foster debate, discussion and reflection around issues that matter; use multiple forms of engagement to involve the entire departmental community; actively create opportunities to make teaching and learning practices public.
  6. Visibly reward and recognize teaching and learning: provide leadership pathways for strong and committed educators; evaluate contributions to teaching and learning using multiple methods, lenses, and perspectives; actively identify and support individuals to be recognized for their contributions to teaching beyond the department.
  7. Involve students as partners in change: actively seek student input; involve students meaningfully in initiatives, innovations, and decision-making processes; intentionally provide space for and amplify student voices; create leadership pathways for students.

There are likely other leadership approaches you would recommend for departmental chairs as we embark on an ever-evolving and somewhat uncertain pathway for teaching and learning in higher education.

What do you think are key considerations, challenges, and recommended leadership approaches for department chairs as we begin to approach teaching and learning during the 2021/22 academic year?


Aristovnik, A., Keržič, D., Ravšelj, D., Tomaževič, N., & Umek, L. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on life of higher education students: A global perspective. Sustainability12(20), 8438.

Brazeau, G. A., Frenzel, J. E., & Prescott, W. A. (2020). Facilitating wellbeing in a turbulent time. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education84(6).

Christensen Hughes, J., & Mighty, J. (2010). A call to action: Barriers to pedagogical innovation and how to overcome them. In J. Christensen Hughes & J. Mighty (Eds).Taking stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (pp. 261-277). Queens School of Policy Studies.

Gibbs, G., Knapper, C., & Piccinin, S. (2008). Disciplinary and contextually appropriate approaches to leadership of teaching in research‐intensive academic departments in higher education. Higher Education Quarterly, 62(4), 416-436.

Gigliotti, R. A. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on academic department chairs: Heightened complexity, accentuated liminality, and competing perceptions of reinvention. Innovative Higher Education, 1-16.

Kolomitro, K. and Kenny, N. (2021). Caring for our community: when will well-being be a priority.  Keynote Presentation.  Educational Developers Caucus of Canada Online Conference.

Naffi et al. (2020) Disruption in and by Centres for Teaching and Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Leading the Future of Higher Ed. White Paper ISBN: 978-2-9818996-5-1

Xiong, J., Lipsitz, O., Nasri, F., Lui, L. M., Gill, H., Phan, L., … & McIntyre, R. S. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders.