Learning spaces for the 21st century

  • Start date: 2006-09-01
  • End date: 2007-03-31
  • Status: complete
  • Funding Initiative: Higher Education Academy

The stated objective of this review is "to inform the design of learning spaces for the future, to facilitate changing pedagogical practices to support a mass higher education system, and greater student diversity."

The organising theme of the review has been the integration of research coming from three main domains.

  • Research on the built environment - from the disciplines of architecture, planning, design, estate and space management.
  • Research about pedagogy: how students learn and the factors
    influencing the learning process.
  • Research about the organisational nature of higher education: how universities and colleges are organised, governed and managed, including changing relations with their students.

The stated aim of the study is to inform practice, rather than simply to report on the state of research, and so the methodology has been chosen to ensure that the emphasis is on findings that can be operationalised, though this may well include theoretical propositions that illuminate practical issues.

A number of key themes have been identified around which the study has been organised. Selection criteria has been defined to exclude work where there are doubts about reliability or validity. A search strategy is defined, identifying the databases to be searched and the search terms used. Material is classified under a theme, and compared with other material in that theme and in adjacent ones. The process of synthesis is carried out mainly within this thematic structure.

  • Institute of Education, University of London

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