Shaping the campus of the future
Schools and universities are facing unprecedented challenges due to changes in society, demographics and technology. The value of teaching has never been so important. Clever space planning and furniture can support these challenges and expectations.
Teaching and learning styles are evolving
- Students participate much more during lectures. Teachers encourage collaborative work among small groups, teamwork and creativity.
- The diversity of people from different cultures studying together also increases dramatically which impact teaching styles.
This, results in significant changes in lecture, theatres and classrooms: Learning spaces need to evolve from being “Teaching-centered” to being “Learning-centered”. To maximize learning, learning spaces must be designed to support flexibility, social engagement and community.
Competition is getting tougher
- Competition amongst postsecondary institutions has become increasingly fierce. Many colleges and universities that historically didn’t need to work hard to attract and retain top students and teachers are now feeling the pressure to fight for talent.
- People make their choice not only according to the town and the reputation of the university. They also take into consideration the well-being on the campus.
For students and teachers, the quality of learning spaces impact first impressions, whether formal (classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories) or informal (libraries, media centres, corridors). Comfort, stimulating spaces to study and socialise have become important criteria for the choice of a university.
Learning is no longer the preserve of young students
Older students, updating their qualifications for career purposes, are heavily engaged in study. Their work experience has created higher expectations for the fit and finish of their work space.
The younger generation has a different attitude. They expect technology in the classroom, a comfortable and supportive environment, faculty and engaging learning spaces.
Poorly equipped open spaces like corridors, lobbies atriums and hallways can be transformed into productive zones that encourage spontaneous interaction between students and thus foster team and project work.
Students have immediate access to information
- Web access, distance learning and wireless network connections have changed teaching and learning habits.
- Students do no longer spend hours in the library reading books but they go and search information on the internet, proceed it and create new content according to their needs.
Easy interaction between teachers/students team members can be supported with integrated technology to share information seamlessly and create knowledge in groups. It is now imperative that curriculum, teaching styles, and space all support the fluid integration of technology tools into the learning environment.