All the feedback we’ve had from new build projects suggests that one of the elements people find most difficult is imagining a very different type of learning space. It’s easy to imagine doing what you do now in a nicer environment but how do you imagine the unimaginable?
This section of the infoKit looks at a range of techniques for stimulating imagination and creativity alongside examples of what others have done. It will come as no surprise that this is the most image-rich section of the resource. We also look at business processes and how they can be improved to support activity in new types of environment. Most importantly at this stage of your design we also help you do a reality check on your ‘blue-sky’ thinking before you commit to a build.
Innovation in the sector
Research the sector and look outside the sector for innovative approaches that fit with the values and objectives of the project
Margaret Weaver, University of Cumbria
There is much exciting new build and refurbishment in the education sector and most colleges and universities are more than willing to share their experiences and take you on a tour of their facilities. One drawback of so much happening is – where do you start? This infoKit draws heavily upon the experience of others and a range of resources in different media aims to bring some of this experience to you. These are linked in context throughout the infoKit, and are also grouped together in our ‘resource collection’ which also features hints and tips on how you might get the best out of the suite of resources available.
The Flickr Photo Gallery features a large collection of images from around the UK to give you ideas and inspiration on the design of your space. The images are richly described, tagged and organised in ‘sets’, to facilitate quick and easy location of material relevant to you. The photo sets are linked throughout this resource (particularly in the ‘Aspects Of Design’ section), and we’ve included an overview of how to get the most out of the gallery.
As well as the visual resources, a series of structured case studies document the experience of a number of institutions.
All these supporting materials can be found in our resource collection which also features links to a wealth of other publications, websites and reports in this area.
Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs)
The CETLs are no longer in existence but their legacy is important for many learning spaces. The main aims of the CETLs were to reward excellence in teaching practice and to invest in that excellence so as to make real benefits to teachers, learners and the institutions. The centres funded by HEFCE were varied; some were a single subject area (e.g. Computing, Genetics), others are pedagogy-based (such as Assessment for Learning ). The CETLs invested in refurbishment or new build of their associated learning spaces and many are exciting, innovative developments. It is worthwhile visiting their websites (some are still in existence or archived by the university), or their actual centre, to see if any of their ideas are appropriate for your developments. Further details of the CETLs and associated resources such as case study materials can be located in the resource collection.