A new approach to learning spaces

Matthew 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.

learning spaces coverCo-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 Matthew..

‘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 onto 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 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 and Virtual Learning Environment for Undergraduate Nursing Students.

Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Concepts for the Modern Learning Environment is published by IGI Global and is available from July 2011 through academic book stores and online from Amazon and the IGI Global website, www.igi-global.com.

About Matthew Riddle

Matthew RiddleMatthew has been working in the field of tertiary education in a variety of roles for over 15 years, before coming to La Trobe as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and prior to that as an Educational Designer at the University of Melbourne. He maintains research interests in a broad range of higher education issues, and has done extensive work on educational innovations using technologies such as online role-plays.

His work on the Learning Landscape Project at Cambridge used a combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques to describe learning and teaching at a traditional research-intensive UK higher education institution as part of a change management process. Two sub-projects examined student perspectives on daily technology use and the broader learning experience using techniques drawn from social studies of technology and ethnography.  

He has continued this work through two projects at La Trobe University entitled ICTs in the Daily Lives of Australian Students and Spaces for Knowledge Generation, www.skgproject.com.

Stephen Scoglio
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