How are higher ed institutions rethinking layouts to facilitate active learning?
- Learning spaces at Indiana University, San Diego State University and University of Mount Union are spotlighted by Campus Technology for their embrace of project-based active learning approaches.
- Under Indiana University's Mosaic Active Learning Initiative, the institution focused on diverse spaces designed around specific needs or goals, with one proposal from the university's Geography and Anthropology departments producing a space with 16 collaborative tables to facilitate active learning in large classes, Campus Technology reports.
- San Diego State University took a similar approach to designing a wide array of spaces for a variety of uses that allow faculty to experiment and incubate ideas, while Mount Union created a Digital, Written and Oral Communication Studio in its library to facilitate a new written and oral communication portfolio requirement for general education, and as part of a larger project aimed at transitioning to a "learning commons" approach for the building.
Colleges and universities have increasingly looked outside of the box when it comes to learning spaces in recent years. Part of this shift in design thinking has come amid an effort to provide students with spaces that more closely resemble modern work environments. A look at many of these new class designs will reveal similarities to open floor plans now popular in many offices, and focuses on project-based "active learning" also encourage greater development of soft skills like collaboration and critical thinking.
The trend isn't just for higher ed, either. In K-12, a focus on moving toward similar classroom models and away from rows of desks facing a "sage on a stage" has led to a variety of seating options, more natural lighting, and greater student agency.
- Campus Technology Different Learning Spaces, Different Goals
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