Learning Space Design Resources

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“Emily Carr University’s purpose-built campus will have substantial impacts on our local community’s economy, initially through its construction then ongoing through its operations.” – Dr. Ron Burnett, President + Vice-Chancellor

As Emily Carr University considers its design for its purpose-built campus at Great Northern Way, many considerations will be taken into understanding its learning space design and needs. The following are some Learning Space Design resources posted to the New Media Consortium listserv in February, 2014.  For more information on the  Emily Carr University campus at Great Northern Way, please visit http://gnw.ecuad.ca/

Tufts University on Learning Space Design
The site categorizes interesting articles and web sites that pertain to space planning for teaching, learning and research. You can access articles by category or key term. (David Grogan, Senior Solutions Specialist, Educational & Scholarly Technology Services (ESTS) Tufts Technology Service (TTS) Tufts University)

Designing Flexible Learning Spaces
(this section is by (Linda A. E. Cripps – Delaware Technical Community College, contributed to the NMC listserv, 2014)
As we know, such a “classroom” supports choice on classroom learning activities – group, small groups , individual instructions and allows for choice in collaborative , independent, or group instruction.  A flexible learning space must allow the activities can expand or contract within space.   Determining specific square foot requirements for such a space is not easily reduced to simple sq. ft.-per-person ratios.  Unfortunately in initial facility design phases, such numbers are often used in establishing building requirements and budgets.

The  large student:instructor ratio in typical lecture instruction is compact – whereas collaborative learning is frequently grouped around a shared work surface such as a table, which requires much greater space to accommodate a similar number of students. Typical standard code occupancy requirements reflect these different spatial requirements, an assembly space based chairs only seating versus seating based on tables and chairs, is assumed to have twice as many occupants.   Square foot requirements facility design rules-of-thumb also lump in to the per person requirements space allocation required circulation, instructor space, storage, and other requirements in addition to the actual space required for the student  , whether based on traditional lecture format or more space-hungry collaborative learning.

Designing for flexible learning spaces encompass design requirements in addition to adequate space, such as technology infrastructure, lighting , HVAC, sound dampening , etc.  the following are some resources for informing administrators, facilities services staff, IT support, etc on what I mean when faculty speak of the unique needs of flexible-collaborative learning facilities. (Linda A. E. Cripps – Delaware Technical Community College)

Collaborative Learning SpacesThe University of North Carolina at Charlotte

7 Tips for Building Collaborative Learning Spaces

Unit 3: Collaborative Learning Spaces – https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI80083.pdf

Also the picture being worth the thousand words, the YouTube videos from Queensland University can show what one of these look like. http://libguides.library.qut.edu.au/content.php?pid=109319&sid=2432359

Arizona State University’s document, 2011 Classroom Design Guidelines, ( http://www.asu.edu/fm/documents/Classroom_Design_Guide.pdf ) references Arizona Board of Regents guidelines which in turn is based on 1985 Council of Educational Facility Planners Space Planning Guidelines which recommend 32 sf per student in a computer workstation based classroom.  This is for the typical lecture space with one computer workstation per student, not a flexible learning space.

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