Research on the use of Active or “Next Generation Learning Spaces” is still pretty much in its early stages. An important question driving the early stages of research pertaining to these new, more open spaces is how they shape and support teaching and learning. Here in the Krause Innovation Studio, users of the space are generally offered four different types of spatial interactions: (1) a large collaboration space called the “Learn Lab” that accommodates about 24, (2) four semi-private rooms designed for groups of 4-8, (3) four pods for small group collaborations and (4) a general, open reception area that runs along the front of the Studio.
Because of its size, the Learn Lab tends to be most often used for regularly scheduled classes, as well as workshops and similar sorts of special events. Its four “Media:Scape” tables equipped with multiple connection pucks, corresponding projection screens near each table, and portable whiteboards conveys a design that aims to promote more of a distributed learning environment that foregrounds collaborative learning rather than lecture-centered, instructivist pedagogy. In order to get a sense of how the Learn Lab may better meet the pedagogical needs of faculty who use it, we wanted to meet and talk with faculty about their experiences and what affordances it offers over other classrooms where they have previously taught. So over the next several months, we will be sitting down and talking with faculty about how they see the space supporting the teaching and learning they do there. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and comments.