LEARNING AND TEACHING SPACE IN HIGHER EDUCATION
evalag (Evaluation Agency Baden-Wuerttemberg, Mannheim, Germany) as a partner together with seven European higher education institutional partners, including the lead partner Birmingham City University, has been granted a Strategic Partnership for Higher Education within the Erasmus+ Program under the key action Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices. The project has a duration of 36 months (2019-2022) and is carried out by its eight partners from eight European countries, namely Austria, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.
LEARNING AND TEACHING SPACE IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Project Duration: 01-12-2019 - 30-11-2022
Project Reference: 2019-1-UK01-KA203-061968
EU Grant: 253102 EUR
This project will develop a set of core principles that institutions can use to help them design, construct and develop new learning and teaching (L&T) spaces. Increasingly, quality assurance in higher education is expanding to include a wide range of aspects of university life that includes buildings and the environment. The physical space of universities has often focused on the activities of L&T. This project would provide a framework for institutions to work within to ensure that they make best use of their resources.
The aim of the project is to develop a set of comprehensive design principles that institutions can draw on to inform the development of new learning spaces. The project aim will be achieved by addressing the following objectives:
- To identify the meaning of ‘innovative L&T’ in different contexts across Europe;
- To identify existing policy and practice towards L&T space and related issues across EU and national HE sectors;
- To identify policy and practice towards L&T space and related issues in other national HE sectors;
- To explore practice and principles in building and developing space in other sectors;
- To explore the extent to which QA includes the built environment;
- To identify existing practice and principles across the partnership institutions;
- To share practice and examples across the partnership;
- To highlight examples of good practice in design and development of L&T space.
Description of activities
The principal output of the project will be a set of core principles that institutions can use to help them to design new L&T spaces, whether developing existing buildings or constructing new spaces. This output would need to be built upon two core sets of data: wider, national explorations of policy and practice followed by a series of case studies that explore the issues facing universities in building new L&T spaces, determining what works and what does not work and highlighting good practice.
Methodology to be used
The project will take a pragmatic approach, where each stage of the project is informed by the previous stage. This approach has proved successful in several of our previous EU-funded projects and is logical for the proposed project. The first stage of the project would be to undertake a set of studies to identify policy and practice across national higher education sectors. The second stage of the project would be to focus on the partner institutions and explore what activity is currently in process, what approaches are taken to building new L&T spaces and stakeholder perceptions of the space available to them. These two stages of work would inform the core output of this project, the basic principles of constructing L&T spaces. The resulting output will be piloted and evaluated.
The key tangible result of this project will be a manual to inform university design to facilitate innovative L&T spaces. Other results will be data relating to the extent and development of innovative L&T space within the EHEA.
The main impact of the project would be to encourage wider consideration of how the design of learning spaces contributes to the implementation of innovative and effective L&T practice across the EHEA.
Potential longer term benefits
The project will share good practice in facilitating innovative L&T, taking account of the rapid acceleration of technological innovation and how this is driving L&T and student engagement. This could also include relatively new developments such as how learning analytics is contributing to a greater understanding of how learners use resources. In other words, design of learning spaces has to take into account technological development and changes in L&T delivery as well as responding to student engagement evidenced through data collection.
The creation of these resources has been (partially) funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2019-1-UK01-KA203-061968. Neither the European Commission nor the project's national funding agency are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.