When it comes to creating a learning space, is there anything you can do in terms of layout and facilities to make it a more effective environment for soaking up knowledge?
It’s widely accepted that the physical condition of a classroom affects learning outcomes and development. Often, a style that allows for both lectures and seminars is a favorable option, with lighting, temperature and good visibility also important.
One of the main things that seems to shine through from students and educators alike is the need to encourage and facilitate good engagement. This means engagement with the material that they have been studying prior to the lecture via good visual displays and engagement with their classmates to collaborate and discuss ideas before and after class. It also means engagement with their lecturer through clear communication, combined with a tactile approach to learning that also encourages students to take charge of their studies, finding ways of working that suit them as individuals.
Administrators are also working hard to facilitate this method of learning, not always through bespoke education buildings but through the way they encourage learning to be carried out. Students become curators of their own education and as such they manage their space in the best ways to suit their learning. In this way, space becomes a fluid concept. While core learning will still be carried out in a well designed classroom, theater or lecture hall, administrators are working alongside educators to give students a wider definition of space that goes beyond seating capacity.
Now space is viewed as the core materials needed for learning and the customised ways in which educators and students will curate their own learning. Through this student focused approach (and with help from internal and external sources such as http://www.educationspaces.co.uk/), institutions can begin to create the inspiring, motivational and creative learning environments where education can flourish.
Ultimately all of this allows collaborative learning between peers and educators rather than a leadership approach. This puts everyone in the room on a level playing field, encouraging ideas to circulate without fear of judgement. Of course, a professor should be there to guide and lead the discussions, but engagement between students is vital and the facilitation of this within learning environments is essential.