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Educate-it

(Future) Learning Spaces

The ever-increasing popularity of active learning and blended learning is challenging students and teachers to find or create new ways to make use of physical learning environments during class time. A number of faculties are already experimenting with new interior designs for their classrooms. Their experiences have shown us that innovative teaching spaces do more than facilitate innovative teaching practices — Sometimes they inspire them.

Future-proofing physical learning spaces, however, will require additional research. Through its Learning Spaces project, Educate-it has been investigating the requirements and prerequisites of living up to Utrecht University’s ambitions and educational vision for learning environments. The project is also working to take the lessons and experiences from its research and bundle them into a valuable knowledge base that will inform the final set of requirements for future-proofed designs of different learning spaces.

Focusing on six different pillars, small teams are working to compose lists of these requirements and prerequisites. The teams have been carefully selected to represent all corners of the university. Not just students and teachers, but relevant experts on Estates and Facilities have been included, for example.

 

These are the pillars that have been defined in the Learning Spaces framework:

  1. Developing a UU vision on learning spaces
  2. Studying and experimenting with possible learning space designs
  3. Communication, interaction and community-building
  4. Faculty Development
  5. Developing designs and/or design processes for new and renovated buildings
  6. Embedding innovations in the existing organisation


The results that emerge from these project teams will be tested and evaluated by the experts in the Learning Spaces Special Interest Group.

Do you have your own ideas about changing where you teach to suit how you teach? Would you like to share innovative learning space designs with others? Please get in touch with Educate-it. We would love to explore what’s possible.

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