The drive for Institutions to “engage with strategies that incorporate digital elements and accommodate more active learning in the physical classroom…” (NMC Horizon Report, 2017) places an importance on physical space to enable pedagogical shifts in Higher Education. By enabling these shifts, or changes, space can play a vital part in fostering more innovative and inclusive approaches, leading to an enhanced experience for both students and tutors. The cost of designing new spaces or refurbishing existing environments, “need not be expensive and related to large allocation of resource” (Wood et al, 2010). What is required, however, is a clearly defined strategy to guide and inform all stakeholders involved in the design, development, management, evaluation and utilisation of learning and teaching spaces within an Institution.
The workshop will endeavour to explore these themes and provide opportunities for those attending to contribute to the discussion. The session will begin with an introduction to the aims and outcomes and then ask groups of attendees to actively and collaboratively engage in an Enquiry-based Learning (EBL) approach, contributing to the completion of the workshop task. The task itself will promote investigation into the issues associated with developing a learning spaces strategy; encourage the sharing of experience and expertise; and facilitate the co-construction of knowledge to develop an understanding of the benefits realised from the development of learning spaces strategy.
The hour-long workshop will be structured as follows:
- Introduction (aims and intended outcomes);
- Groups of participants question the benefits of developing a learning spaces strategy and what it should include;
- Group members share experience and knowledge to answer the questions that arise, (benefits and scope);
- Group working concludes by asking group members to share the outcomes of their investigation with other attendees and justifying their outcomes;
- Workshop summary (collation of outcomes, sharing of resources, further information).
It is hoped that participants attending the workshop will leave having developed an understanding of the issues inherent to the design of a learning spaces strategy and the confidence to apply the lessons learnt to their own practice:
- Understanding the scope of Learning Spaces
- Strategic Drivers and Influencers
- Practical Principals
- Engagement & Communications
The value of co-constructing strategies will model an approach to strategy design and also foster an appreciation of the diverse needs of the many stakeholders. All outcomes will be shared during the session and post-session to support participants’ future endeavours.
NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition (2017) Redesigning Learning Spaces, Mid-Term Trend: Driving Ed Tech in higher education for the next three to five years [Online]. [Accessed 10 March 2017]. Available at: <http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2017-higher-education-edition/>
Wood, P., Warwick, P. and Cox, D. (2010) Evaluation of Experimental Learning Spaces, University of Leicester [Online]. Leicester. [Accessed 10 March 2017]. Available at: <http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/lli/staff-development/docs/academic-prac/developing-learning-spaces-he.docx>