The Learning Spaces Collaboratory is an informal national alliance of architects and academics, a mix of people with diverse responsibilities for and expertise in shaping the environment in which undergraduates experience learning. Established in 2010, the LSC advances best practices in planning for assessing spaces for learning. Research in social creativity is at the core of these practices.

The power of the unaided individual mind is highly overrated. Much human creativity is social, arising from activities that take place in a social context in which interaction with other people and the artifacts that embody collective knowledge are essential contributors. (Gerhard Fischer, University of Colorado Boulder. “Social Creativity: Making All Voices Heard.”)

MAY 2020. The LSC convened a small group for an informal conversation about the increasingly unsettlingly impact of the pandemic on higher education, about how it was beginning to upset how and where learning happens on our nation’s college and university campuses. This was a convening for sharing emerging questions: “Can a virtual space enable the quality of relationships that physical spaces can?” “We claim learning can happen anywhere, any time. Is that true?” “How will COVID-19 impact our thinking about what a learning space looks like?”

JULY/AUGUST 2020. By early July, the convening group had grown, now the LSC Zoom Roundtables. We continued to share questions and begin sharing our collective knowledge about “aha” ideas surfacing as campuses wrestle with the COVID-19 challenge. We also began to give attention to research on how the environment influences the experience of learning.

SEPTEMBER 2020. A collaboration with the Journal of Learning Spaces was established. This Library of Evidence is designed to be a major resource for the broader community and for LSC discussions, workshops, and other activities. Preparation began on another major resource for the LSC moving forward. Working groups were assembled, each assigned to The LSC zoom community was organized into five groups were established, each assigned to draft a working paper that captures and extends discussions of one of the major themes from past zooms.

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020. Discussions from the LSC Zoom Roundtables will be shared with the broader community of practice–academics and design professionals–beginning posting of essays and other resources, as well as presentations at virtual conferences. The goal is to broaden the community exploring what we know, what we are learning, and what we need to know about shaping how and where learning is experienced.  Ever exploring what we want our learners to become and how the spaces in which they learn enable that becoming. The LSC Guide: Planning for Assessing 21st Century Spaces for 21st Century Learners.