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The LSC Guide: Planning for Assessing 21st Century Spaces for 21st Century Learners

LSC Guide
Type: Article
Author(s): Jeanne Narum, Ed.
Published: The Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC), 2013
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  • How do you measure return on investment of time, energy and funds expended in shaping and sustaining physical environments serving 21st century learners?
  • How does space influence the nature of the learning experience?
  • How can focusing on what students are to become, on how learning happens drive the process of shaping and sustaining 21st century learning environments?

This guide, developed by a working group convened by the LSC, is a template for exploring such questions. It is intended to advance efforts on individual campuses to imagine and shape new spaces, reimagine and repurpose existing spaces; it is intended to inform the national dialogue about why attention to physical learning environments matters.

Reports and reflections in this guide illustrate how research findings are influencing campus-based programmatic and pedagogical change, transforming what and how students learn. They also present evidence of how such findings inform the process of transforming the physical spaces—where students learn. They signal how attention to central questions that should drive planning for assessing 21st century learning space for 21st century learners.

  • What do we want our learners to become?
  • What kind of learning experiences enable that becoming?
  • What kind of learning spaces enable such experiences?
  • How do we know?

The final one is the most critical question and perhaps the most challenging. In contrast to the substantive, consolidated, and accessible research about how learning happens, research on how space matters to learning is an emergent field - with significant pioneering work underway on some campuses and within particular communities of practice.

These questions also call for attention to assembling the planning team, engaging persons with diverse expertise and experience, and from different spheres of responsibility across campus - as well as from beyond the campus. You will find evidence of how a process for planning a particular space or set of spaces has begun to transform policies and practices campus-wide, how questions about how space matters to learning are being integrated into strategic planning initiatives for the future.


Freely Available