We continue the series of postings from the emerging LSC Guide with the Georgia Tech story.
A key lesson to be learned from the experience of planning spaces for the Biomedical Engineering program at Georgia Tech is that spaces are a means to an end, a physical embodiment of a strategy designed to serve specific goals about what learners are to become and about what learning experiences make that becoming happen.
What is it that biomedical engineers do? If we understood the process of learning as the process of becoming a practitioner in the discipline, what would our BME spaces be like? Questions such as these were threaded through the story of the evolution of problem-driven learning spaces at Georgia Tech.
It is intriguing to note the similarity of these questions—asked in the context of a highly specialized STEM discipline—to those asked in the process of redesigning spaces for teaching and learning writing at Utah State University. (See upcoming webinar.)
At the University of Michigan, a design lab has been created that offers a different approach to nurturing problem solvers in the SmartSurfaces course team-taught by professors from Art & Design, Materials Science and Engineering and Architecture. One of the professors, John Marshall, described their program and space at the recent NCIIA annual conference in Washington. In the form of a PechaKucha presentation, Marshall described the goals of the course: to give UM students an integrative, hands-on learning experience where cross-disciplinary team design, build, program, and test interactive surfaces.
Marshall is a member of the Sloan/LSC working group.
In his Sloan essay, Marshall states that "Education that is localized, in-person and hands-on may be the future of bricks and mortar universities. Future students that physically go to college rather than merely log in to one will develop knowledge directly from experience—knowledge that is difficult to transfer in writing or speech alone. Such experiential modes include studio-, workshop- or laboratory-based learning, places that favor making and doing rather than merely talking and listening, as happen in classrooms and lecture halls."
Free Radicals: A Sloan/LSC Essay
Presentation from NCIIA Open 2013
SmartSurfaces: a Multidisciplinary, Hands-on, Think-tank