Space, the New Frontier: Exploring Learning Space Design to Support Blended Learning

Workshop Session 2
Blended

Session Materials

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Brief Abstract

Winston Churchill stated, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” This is true in many classrooms. For institutions exploring active or blended learning it is critical to think about the space in which the learning will take place. This workshop explores tools and processes to help institutions plan innovative learning spaces. Make sure to bring photos of spaces you'd like to update.

Presenters

Chris Johnson is the Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at The University of Arizona and has been active in digital learning for over 40 years. He is currently Co-Founder/Past-Chair of the ISTE Learning Space Network. He is a Past-President of the Arizona Technology in Education Association (AzTEA) and served for five years as AzTEA's Affiliate representative to ISTE and currently serves as the Chair of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. He is a past member of the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council and a past Board member of the Greater Arizona eLearning Association, Arizona Educational Media Association (Chair), and Arizona Special Olympics (Secretary). He is the co-founder of EDUCAUSE's Constituency Group on Learning Space Design. He has written and presented at state, national, and international conferences on his primary interest in the design of innovative physical and virtual learning environments.

Extended Abstract

Winston Churchill stated, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” As we explore new ways to provide blended learning, it is important to realize that we are trying to do so in physical spaces that were designed 100s of years ago and that these classrooms, designed primarily for lectures, shape the type of instruction that can take place. And that shape is generally lecture based, not the environment needed for blended learning.

Therefore, there is a movement in higher education to create Active Learning Spaces to facilitate the use of digital tools to enhance learning. However, since design of space is usually left up to the Space Planning or Facilitates departments, many new buildings, and their classrooms, are being built using old models of instruction. This workshop will introduce participants to a number of tools and processes that put the planning and implementation of innovative learning spaces into the hands of the faculty who will be implementing new blended learning strategies in their classrooms.

The workshop will include current research from the field of Learning Space Design and introduce participants to several space planning and assessment tools. These are EDUCAUSE's Learning Space Rating System; the learning space repository, FLEXspace, and a set of space planning tools. All of the tools are free resources for collecting, exploring, planning for, and evaluating innovative learning spaces.

Make sure to bring photos of spaces you'd like to update

Learning Objectives
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to

  1. Articulate the importance of an agile Active Learning Space in blended learning.
  2. Use the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System to evaluate existing learning spaces.
  3. Use the FLEXspace learning space repository to identify exemplars of agile learning space
  4. Use space planning toolkits to plan for and implement new spaces.

Activities
The workshop will begin with a 10-minute presentation on the importance of space on blended learning.

This will be followed by three “mini-sessions” on the following:

  1. Using the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System to evaluate existing learning spaces.
  2. Using the FLEXspace learning space repository to identify exemplars of agile learning space
  3. Usinga set of planning toolkit to plan for and implement new spaces.

Participants will be given a two-minute introduction to the tool and then provided 15 minutes to work in groups of four to five to explore the functionality of each tool. (Note: I’ve built in a three-minute buffer into each topic for slippage – in case you’re adding the time up.) Participants will be provided with a set of guided questions for each tool and asked to share their responses using the social sharing tool Mentimeter [www.menti.com].

Between topics one and two, there will be a five-minute sharing period to surface key insights on each topic. At the end of the third topic we will have five minutes to share and then 10 minutes for general wrap up questions and a discussion as to how OLC might be able to continue to address issues of space in the future

Application
Due to the practical nature of the tools, participants will be able to return to their institutions and apply one or more of them to begin discussions around space on their campus. This ranges from evaluating and cataloging their current spaces, comparing their spaces with other institutions, and applying the planning toolkits.

Primary Audience
This workshop will be applicable to everyone from school leaders/planners to individual faculty as it provides them with a set of practical tools with which they can explore creating learning spaces. Depending on the audience makeup, strategies will be discussed as to how school leaders can bring about change in their institution to individual faculty members “leading up” to bring about change in their campus spaces.

Activities and take-aways
Initial work on Learning Space Design began within EDUCAUSE approximately 12 years ago. However, it wasn’t until the 2016 Horizon Report identified “Redesigning Learning Space” as a Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher that the importance of building new learning spaces has emerged. The activities in this workshop allow participants to begin and/or move forward this work on their campuses.

Materials
All materials will be provided online.