Physical and virtual learning spaces (Issue 13, 2011)


Learning_SpacesMatthew Riddle, Senior Lecturer, Academic Development at
La Trobe University’s Faculty of Law and Management, is co-editor of a book that explores a renaissance in approaches to the design of physical and virtual spaces for teaching and learning in higher education.

Co-edited by La Trobe University’s Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Kay Souter and Charles Sturt University’s Professor Mike Keppell, Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment documents real-world experiences of innovators in higher education who have redesigned spaces for learning and teaching. This detailed work explains how redefined spaces encompass a broader range of physical, virtual, formal, informal, blended, flexible and time sensitive factors.

‘I'm very excited about the book for a couple of reasons. It is great to be able to point to such a tangible outcome of the Spaces for Knowledge Generation project, which was led by La Trobe University and funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council,’ says Mr Riddle.

‘More importantly, Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in Higher Education is a timely snapshot of the cutting edge of learning space design in higher education, and a window into the future of these institutions that I hope will be helpful to many,’ he adds.

Higher education institutions are no longer defined by the physical boundaries of their traditional campus but the entire student experience, whether that be negotiating the physical corridors of the campus or connecting to virtual environments. Chapters from a mix of Australian and international authors cover areas addressing the question of how higher education institutions and administrators need to re-conceptualise, re-design, and rethink the use of space for students entering university in the 21st Century.

Topics covered in the book include: 

  • assessment in virtual learning spaces
  • e-portfolios
  • evaluating learning spaces
  • knowledge creation metaphors
  • learning space designs
  • outdoor and environmentally integrated learning spaces
  • student-focused virtual learning spaces
  • technology-enriched learning spaces
  • viral learning spaces 
  • virtual learning environment for undergraduate nursing students.

Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment is available from July 2011, at academic book stores and the IGI Global website,