Deborah Harrop and Bea Turpin
Parallel session 1, Short Paper 1.4
This session will summarise research which aimed to investigate: What makes successful higher education informal learning spaces? The objectives were: to determine learners’ behaviours, attitudes and preferences in relation to where, what, when, how and why they use informal learning spaces at SHU; and enable evidence-based redevelopment of learning spaces.
This session will share research which sought to understand ‘What makes successful higher education informal learning spaces?’ and manifested itself in the redevelopment of informal learning spaces in the Learning Centres and the ongoing development of campus spaces at SHU. Findings from the aforementioned primary, empirical research culminated in the creation of a typology of nine learning space preference attributes and the assertion that all nine attributes must be given due consideration when designing and evaluating informal learning spaces. The typology is underpinned by a theoretical framework derived from existing published literature and is drawn from the disciplines of learning theory, placemaking and architecture and the need for an understanding of the synergy between the three. The typology of learning space preference attributes will be shared, alongside examples of how it led to the implementation of real changes to learning spaces at SHU.
Jamieson (2007) calls for new spaces that challenge the status quo and the ambition is for the typology to be used as a partial response to this. To fully respond, it is hoped this research will join up with research on formal and virtual learning spaces and in doing so ensure the construction of interrelated, complimentary and coherent SHU learning spaces.
JAMIESON, P. with contributions from MIGLIS, P., HOLM, J. and PEACOCK, J. (2007). Creating new generation learning environments on the university campus. Adelaide, South Australia, Woods Bagot Research Press.