ELI Web Seminar, March 12, 2007
Director, Learning Environments
DEGW North America LLC and
Phillip D. Long
Associate Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
- What’s the informal learning landscape? “Spaces between”
- Relationship between physical and virtual places (both enrich each other)
- Drivers: mobile technology, convergent devices, demand for study space, recognition of importance of quality of space,
- active learning, need for interdisciplinary interaction, learning tools and support systems. Iterative process.
- Blended learning more prevalent–more collaboration, active, interdisicplinary; immersive, hybrid (F2F, virtual, augmented reality)
- Traditional categories much less important; space types driven by patterns of interaction; focuse don quality of life more than on formal learning of experiences.
- Planning for continuum of spaces (specialized, generic and informal); even this is revolutionary rather than “seats and butts in seats”
Discussion of millenial learning (multitasking, group and device focused, multiple resources and multimedia savvy content producers, just-in-time)
Cool network usage visualization at MIT (http://ispots.mit.edu/)
Interesting idea: Had students in one class complete time diary (where you were and what were you doing). Students in a class spent most of their time working on classes after 5 (and after 11 PM towards end of class). Shows need for use of space during times when typically closed.
- Collaborative tools (sync, async and VOIP)
- Spaces that can morph over time (multiscreens for seminars that turn into gaming screens at night–showed Wallenberg Hall)
- Easy videoconferencing
- Presence walls (virtual presence in physical space)–not here yet but soon (see Swiss House–physical social environments designed to bring people together virtually from around the world–interesting in terms of diaspora)
- Location maps to determine where to implement technology (tracking wireless IPs with permission to see where users are going)
- Augmented reality (handhelds for educational gaming–mentioned that pollution game again)
- How to advocate for investment in physical spaces? Do motion tracking studies of IPs. Says rough average 6-10% is classroom space; the rest non-formal learnign space. Journalling–asked stakeholders “Where did you do most of your academic work?”
- Program vs. non-program space–increasing recognition that informal space needs to be programmed
- Distance learning service–dependent on physical comfort [and networking–ed. note]
Implications for space learning
How to support mobility and design?
- Must have power!
- Movability of furniture
- Quality of environment
- Where can you exploit transitional spaces between class times?
- Places of serindipitous encounters
- Places that aren’t all for one thing but spaces for certain kinds of activities (video in some areas, social activities in some areas)
- Encourage “front porch” spaces, spillover spaces outside of classrooms designed for informal interaction, transition from public to private
- Exploit crossroads areas (high traffic, seating, cafes)–Swarthmore College Science Lounge
- Blended spaces where you can “eat, work, talk, relax” . . .”supporting multiple activities
- Food is important–quality, attractor, engagement (people could IM to message board in cafe-MIT Steam Cafe)
- “Club-like” spaces-bookable, lots of support and services right there, choice of individual vs. group, collaboration support
- Cox at Emory inspired by retail design (coffee area, cushioned seating); “large screen for shared use”–interactive smart whiteboard-just seating around it; carrels with large screens for single users(also at nothwestern information commons)
- U. of Chicago-banquette seating with a screen people can gather around
- Lots more need for media co-creation facilities–small rooms for editing, podcasting; presentation practice requires thought about acoustics
- Allow students to create their own spaces (Swarthmore Computer Club)
Note: Protect quiet space and must zone for quiet areas and noise and activity
- Issues of technology support esp. during late hours–expectations will be “amazingly high”, just in time thinking carries over. But teach students and support peer-to-peer learning; encourage”viral propagation” of learning. Also be very thoughtful how you present resources and material to students–where you put handouts, resources; how do you contact people for help or leave messages. possible consortial help for 24 hr service.
- Theft & security–put flat panels in secure mounts, etc.; but value of things is changing so theft slightly less likely
Strategies for the future
- Balance between informal and formal space
- Leverage operational and physical possibilities (less space for stacks so more for collaborative areas; work with ed tech and students services; explore integrated staffing)
- Is collaborative space is diffuse or centralized? Stanford School of Medicine Learning and Knowledge Center (Expert bars)
- Places built to support multiple kinds of learning
- Hybrid courses will change space planning
- Link assessment to space performance
- Learning moves beyond the campus to the city (blended spaces); beyond physical to virtual and vice versa
- Virtual worlds coming
- Not just to be comfortable but support for social and active learning
- “Return to human centered design”
- Support for their own devices rather than “hermetically sealed box with soup to nuts)
- Incubators and temporary experiments