Welcome to the 2012 CAUDIT Learning Spaces Tour which continues the momentum from the Melbourne and Brisbaine tour in 2011. This year's tour is in Sydney and will be looking at sites in the University of Western Sydney (UWS), University of Technology, Syndey (UTS) and the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL).

The aims of the tour

- Engage IT leaders in the area of good design for Learning and Teaching so they can appreciate and represent holistic design concepts in their own institutions;
- Explore identified exemplars in learning space designs and understand what facilitates good learning and teaching practice;
- Develop some basic best practice guidelines around technology integration to share with the wider CAUDIT membership;
- Develop the Community of Practice for Learning Space and Technology across Australia and New Zealand.

This blog publishes the findings of the tour along with comments from participants as the tour progresses. The blog posts from the 2011 tour are included along with photos and links from last year.

Sarah Chaloner, Tour Leader

0414 349334

Monday, 21 November 2011

Reflections on Day 1 - University of Queensland

It has been an interesting day – UQ had some very different spaces to show us. I particularly liked the Advanced Concept Teaching Space.  I appreciated Luke Angel’s candour in telling us what worked and what didn’t.  I made a note of your comments throughout the day and summarise here the key learning points from today:-

·         The model for teaching and learning space design looks the same now as it did 100 years ago.  Very little else in the world has resisted change quite so much.
·         The best way to engage staff in new designs is to identify programs that are already targeted for redesign for some other reason.
·         Too much technology can be terrifying!
·         Innovation can be very expensive and it is difficult to ascertain whether there is a good ROI
·         A framework for evaluating spaces needs to be developed
o   A national framework would be better for benchmarking
o   How do we assess the impact of spaces on student learning as part of the evaluation of the space?
·         Innovative things can be simple changes to existing formats (changing the design of a raked lecture theatre to allow students to turn round and collaborate with others)
·         Exciting spaces can be a great marketing tool but the ‘window of wow’, as Lisa put it, is growing rapidly shorter.
·         Consistency of user interfaces is very important – academic staff find it difficult to move from 1 set up to a completely different setup
·         Getting the engagement from a key group of academics is essential for ensuring that the space is well utilised
·         Radical new approaches to space design need a corresponding change in curriculum (e.g. the new UQ engineering building is using active learning spaces and this is being supported by a new approach to teaching)
·         Be very careful what you build into the walls!  Consider more carefully how you can enable people to bring their own technology with them

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