Integrating Classroom Planning into Institutional Policies and Practices

The University of Richmond experience in integrating classroom planning into institutional policies and practices was described by Kathy Monday at the March 2011 Mid-Atlantic meeting of the Society for College and University Planners (SCUP, a collaborating partner of the PKAL LSC). Monday’s remarks were introduced with a series of questions about student learning and learning goals that should drive the planning of classrooms and other formal and informal learning spaces. Now, in 2011, the University of Richmond has in place policies and practices, committees, and budgets that support and enhance their integrated classroom management initiatives over the long-term. Their journey began in 2003, when a presentation on classroom planning was presented by Michael Lauber at a PKAL workshop on planning information commons and other technology-enhanced learning environments.

Lessons learned by Monday and her colleagues include: the need to plan from the inside out, taking care to understand the institutional culture and circumstances; the importance of anticipating the future, giving attention to the complete scenario (short-term and long-term) of upgrading and maintaining the physical environment for learning; and the value of focusing all planning on enhancing the quality of learning for students in all fields, at all levels of learning. A critical lesson learned from the University of Richmond experience was reinforced in at-the-table discussions of the SCUP participants: the need to have diverse spheres of responsibility at the planning table at all times, to avoid parallel planning by those responsible for academics, technologies and/or facilities. The integrated attention to resource management, to assessing the impact of pilot (sand-box) spaces, and feedback reporting to senior officers was a central theme of the reporting out from the small group discussions at the SCUP session.

Integrating Classroom Planning into Institutional Policies and Practices:

For another story from the community on classroom planning, see the "Radically Flexible" Classroom story at  Texas Wesleyan University