The publication takes the reader on a ’walk through’ an educational institution, exploring the relationship between learning technologies and innovative examples of physical space design at each stage of the journey.

Designing spaces for effective learning

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Increasing investment in estate and learning technologies, combined with the need for more cost-effective space utilisation, is making it increasingly important for senior managers to keep abreast of new thinking about the design of technology-rich learning spaces. Designing Spaces for Effective Learning was launched at the JISC Conference 2006 which helped to meet this need. A visually-rich publication, it was designed to promote better understanding of what makes an effective design for the 21st century and to summarise the key points to consider when approaching a refurbishment or new-build project.

The publication takes the reader on a ’walk through’ an educational institution, exploring the relationship between learning technologies and innovative examples of physical space design at each stage of the journey. Discussion of the key points is illustrated by ten case studies from further and higher education, and floor plans from AMA Alexi Marmot Associates, architects and space planners, which provide up-to-date guidelines on the integration of technologies into teaching and learning accommodation. 

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Acknowledgements ‘Designing Spaces for Effective Learning’ builds on the JISC-funded eSpaces study by the University of Birmingham Learning Development Unit on How innovative technologies are influencing the design of physical learning spaces in the post-16 sector with additional research conducted in 2005-2006.

Further resources

Planning and designing technology-rich learning spaces

The publication formed the basis of a new web-based resource from JISC infoNet which links tools for project management and process review with key principles in designing for 21st century learning spaces.

Video case studies – 21st century learning and teaching

Five video case studies of innovative spaces for 21st century learning and teaching were released on CD-ROM at the JISC Conference 2007.  Download the videos below

  1. Changing culture – Edinburgh’s Telford College
  2. A social and collaborative learning space – Saltire Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University
  3. A technology-rich space for inquiry-based learning – CILASS, University of Sheffield
  4. A technology-rich science centre - London Metropolitan University
  5. A campus for the 21st century – City Campus, University of Wolverhampton
Technology-rich physical space design - An overview of JISC activities

Since 2006, JISC has been helping institutions develop physical spaces that anticipate the pervasive use of technology in learning and teaching, enable innovative, learner-centred pedagogies and inspire and motivate wider participation in learning.

JISC resources support each stage of the journey towards a successful project – from determining the vision for technology-enhanced learning spaces to exploring the processes behind successful outcomes. The most recent include an investigation of the design and management issues associated with open-plan spaces and video case studies of the impact on practice and culture of five technology-rich new-build and refurbishment projects. This paper provides an overview of JISC activities to date and outlines the most recent work in more detail.

Briefing paper - Technology-rich physical space design - An overview of JISC activities
How innovative technologies are influencing the design of spaces in the post-16 sector (PDF)

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