Upcoming LSC Meetings

LSC events and activities are grounded in the LSC goal to shape an emerging national community of practice: one that recognizes its responsibility to work toward a common language about learners and learning as a critical step in shaping 21st century learning spaces that serve 21st century learners.

The LSC involves a diverse cadre of stakeholders. LSC events and activities are designed by and intended for this diverse community of academic administrators, faculty in all disciplines, architects and other design professionals, representatives of national educational and professional societies.


Jan. 10, 2018
12 - 1:30 p.m.

Learning Spaces



  • Jeanne L. Narum, Learning Spaces Collaboratory

  • TBA, Cornell University
  • Rebecca Rotundo, MA, University at Buffalo
  • Lisa Stephens, PhD, Office of the SUNY Provost

Learn more here >>


Friday, January 26, 8:45-10:00 am       


  • Dan Dressen, Associate Provost and Professor of Music, St. Olaf College
  • Susan Fliss, Dean of Libraries, Smith College
  • Gail Burd, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Arizona
  • Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa, Associate Director, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP

This is an interactive session, modeling how discussions about learning spaces should happen on a campus--before, during, and after undertaking a particular project. Participants will learn how questions focusing on the future are driving planning of the physical environment for undergraduates at campuses across the country. In a facilitated conversation, panelists--one librarian, one faculty member, one administrator and one architect—will begin by sharing their experiences at the early stages of planning: what was the initial on-campus spark for attention to spaces (faculty members frustrated with current spaces); what voices were at or needed to be brought to the table along the way (senior academic administrators; faculty at different career stages, trustees, students, staff); what lessons about planning they adapted from the work of peers (sandboxing, risk-taking); how they reached a common vision and language for their planning.

Concluding remarks will speak to the impact of attention to spaces on institutional culture of planning and on a campus climate in which all students, no matter their background or career aspiration are motivated to persist and succeed. Findings from research and practice validate the correlation of becoming and belonging to a community of practice as a key to student persistence and success. This sense of belonging can happen in classrooms designed to accommodate research-based pedagogies. It can happen in "third spaces" enabling serendipitous collisions of ideas and private reflection, and in technology-enhanced spaces for exploring, sharing and shaping new ideas. These spaces can be new, renewed, repurposed, in a single building or scattered across a campus. No matter the scope or size of a project, the importance of learner-centered planning and focusing on the institutional mission and vision is clear. One major goal is that students become aware of themselves as learners. Another is that institutional climate for student success has been enhanced for students of today and into the future.

Learning Outcomes

  1. How attention to the physical environment challenges current cultures for planning; the importance of engaging a diversity of stakeholders sharing a commitment to focusing on the future.
  2. How learner-centered planning drives the process: the need for a common understanding of research on learning and a clear awareness of how your students experience learning now and shared aspirations for learners into the future.
  3. How hard this is. How to begin, keep going, and celebrate along the way.


2018 AAC&U Annual Meeting: Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?

January 24, 2018 to January 27, 2018
Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

March 25, 2018

Architects and Design Professionals: online registration form

Participants in this 2018 “broadening the discussion” VentureWell/Learning Spaces Collaboratory roundtable will bring their individual experiences as academics and design professionals to address audacious questions about the future of spaces for making. These discussions will be sparked by questions emerging from the 2016 VW/LSC roundtable on spaces for making. The discussion will be enriched by the diverse perspectives that participants bring to the roundtable. As with all LSC roundtables, there is a flow through the discussions, something like a Mobius strip, of back and forth between common conversation and small working groups, with show and tell along the way.  A set of papers will be drafted, outlining rationale and strategies for establishing a vision and goals for a campus as an ecosystem of spaces for making and identifying initial steps toward that end.


OPEN 2018: VentureWell Annual Conference
March 22-24, 2018 
Austin, TX