Of Special Note

questions that matter:
III. How Can We Capitalize on Relevant National Reports to Advance Our Planning?

The LSC Guide to questions that matter
began with questions about questions, then with questions about learners. This third question is about how campuses can capitalize on the wisdom—from research and practice—that can be found in national reports. Collectively these reports can inform and enrich discussions at all stages of the planning process. They provide a platform for engaging colleagues across the campus and beyond.

Another critical national resource for planners is the collective of practical experience resident in the communities of peers to which academics belong. These are opportunities to share emerging lessons learned about transforming learning environments and to explore new questions about shaping the future.

In December, the LSC collaborated with CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) in a four-hour Roundtable focusing on Job Descriptions for Spaces within a 21st Century Library.


From each LSC Roundtable important thoughts emerge that shed new lights on the process of planning. We here present an essay, A Personal Reflection: What Would It Mean If We Began Identifying Existing Institutional Assets in The Early Stage Of Planning?, in which the argument is made that an essential first step in planning is to audit the institutional future, institutional assets, with particular attention to students as assets.

Another strategy at the early stages of planning is inviting responses to a prompting question, a strategy used at all LSC Roundtables. At many roundtables, what keeps you up at night when thinking about learning spaces? was the prompting question—one that always led to some very personal reflections that then prompted further discussions.  We present here reflections from four architects, from four different roundtables.


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Announcing Upcoming LSC Roundtables 2.0

Beginning in 2019, LSC Roundtables will focus on institutional policies and practices for transforming the physical environment for learning—before, during, and after engaging architects. Participants in these roundtables (2.0) will leave with an outline of a plan of action to share and implement with campus colleagues.

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A link to what we know about planning learning spaces and what we need to know

Learning Spaces Collaboratory

The LSC is a community focusing on the future of planning learning spaces.



Using Planning for Learning Spaces as an Institutional Change Lever: Multiple Perspectives

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 10:30-11:45 AM 

The HED’s Up session is structured around four campus stories about how to use planning for assessing learning spaces as a lever for institutional change.

LSC session at the AAC&U annual meeting.

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The value of sandboxing as an essential planning strategy is a major lesson learned over the past two decades of attention to learning spaces in the undergraduate setting.

In planning physical environments for learning, a sandbox can be a metaphor for a gathering or space designated for exploring approaches to enhance learning in ways different from standard practice in a given institutional context.

Sandboxing as a workshop process is intended as a learning experience for a diverse set of on-campus stakeholders. It becomes an experimental venue for exploring hypotheses about how learning happens and about how space matters to learning.

From the Archives: Sandboxing>>>

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EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the largest community of technology, academic, industry, and campus leaders advancing higher education through the use of IT.

The EDUCAUSEreview: Why IT Matters to Higher Education is an important resource for all. From the current issue:

Higher education is rapidly evolving in response to changing economic models, the emergence and growth of startups, declining enrollments, new student profiles, and an increased emphasis on addressing inequality. For leaders and academics alike, this uncertainty and complexity is disorienting. The scope and the speed of change suggest that higher education cannot continue under an assumption of “business as usual.” Instead, a fundamentally different approach to teaching, learning, administration, and research is required. We believe that complexity science offers the best lens to understanding and managing this change. Through complexity science, higher education leaders can apprehend and make sense of broad-ranging trends, as well as the urgent need to plan for and provide systemic responses.

“Complexity: A Leader’s Framework for Understanding and Managing Change in Higher Education” by George Siemens, Shane Dawson, and Kristen Eshleman.

The Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) project provides a set of measurable criteria to assess how well the design of classrooms support and enable active learning.

ELI Annual Meeting: February 19–21, 2019, Anaheim, California.


From the Field Archive