Working Group 7: Learning Spaces

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Mission Statement

Learning spaces in higher education include formal and informal spaces, such as buildings, open spaces on and off campus, online spaces, and other spaces in which teaching, learning, and engagement happens. This working group will explore planning, creation, and use of learning spaces in higher education. In particular, the group will focus on equitable and inclusive access to learning spaces including physical and pedagogical access.

Knowledge Claims and Established Ideas

a. Organizations in higher education are structured in ways that promote boundaries. Boundaries are an important piece of Learning Spaces work, including evaluating, understanding, creating, changing, challenging, and working within and outside of those boundaries. Higher education should be a place to change boundaries and push boundaries, including your own.

b. Traditional learning spaces were not purposefully designed to be inclusive. We now know how important these spaces can be in facilitating students' sense of belonging and inclusion.

c. Learning spaces impact psychological and physical comfort, in turn, psychological and physical comfort impact sense of safety, efficacy, motivation, resilience, attitude, and tolerance for ambiguity.

d. Spaces include formal spaces, informal spaces, buildings, open spaces, online spaces, physical spaces, psychological spaces, social spaces, socio-cultural spaces.

e. Permeability in learning spaces: people/inhabitants impact spaces and spaces impact people/inhabitants. Likewise, materials and tools have shared impact with/within spaces. (Other ways to say this: bidirectional, etc.)

Group Leaders

  • Jonathan Cox, University of Arizona (jtcox [at] arizona [dot] edu)
  • Brittnee Earl, Boise State University (brittneeearl [at] boisestate [dot] edu)

Group Members