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Martyn Greenwood, Berry O’Donovan, School of Business and Dr Chris Rust, OCSLD
The topic of the paper
The closure of a student union bar on a university satellite campus, and its subsequent renovation, provided the opportunity for a small-scale experiment in the development of a social learning space.
Why it is of concern
Learning space design powerfully impacts on student learning and engagement (Kuh et al, 2005 ), yet many of the traditional assumptions about student learning and behaviours that have typically underpinned the built environment of higher education are no longer appropriate (Chism & Bickford, 2002).
What was done (methods)
The usage of the new space was monitored over one semester, using student researchers, and this study presents an analysis of that usage with reference to the recent literature on learning space.
What are the main outcomes
The study has provided useful information regarding patterns of usage, including sizes of groups and preferred activities, which could be used to increase the efficiency and usefulness of these spaces. The presentation will show the importance of involving students in decisions concerning the learning environment and make some conclusions on the future design of social learning spaces.