Learning Places: informing the future design of spaces and pedagogies that promote belonging, inclusion and equity in Higher Education learning environments

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As the global higher education landscape undergoes change at an unprecedented rate, are learning spaces evolving in tandem, leading or chasing the change? Learning spaces are no longer bound by physical or time constraints; advancements in information and communication technologies have penetrated all academic disciplines and formal bodies of knowledge (Usher, 2010). Within the higher education learning landscape, technological advancements have made possible hybrid models of interactive learning; promoting access, collaboration, sustainability and global awareness. As educationalists the learning spaces we create for our students need not be bound by physical or time constraints. How we shape, re-shape, use and re-use spaces can be transformative to the students learning experience. This poster will be digitally interactive; delegates will be able to scan links on the poster to view online resources on the project website. This poster will examine the integration of such spaces (physical and digital), teaching approaches, facilities and resources to support student learning through the use of Photovoice as a means to narrate the presence of learners, teachers, and the learning experience. The ‘Learning Places’ project included the design and fit of a pilot classroom to test the SCALE-UP (Student Centred Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies) approach to delivering large group teaching. Subsequent discursive activities included joint staff and student drawing workshops, and student-led edited compilations of their experiences in print and digital publications. The project highlighted the role of the learner as an active agent in their learning experience and considered the role of the teacher as an expert facilitator of learning (Race, 2011). Our professional challenge is to build a sense of belonging and community among students. Yi-Fu Tuan purports that space becomes place when endowed with value (2001). The way in which ‘value’ is created in learning places is fundamental to education. The construction of learning environments that foster high quality learning through inclusivity and equity of all learners is dependent upon understanding and responsiveness to how students use such places. Assessing the elements, structure and impact of those places (physical and/or digital) through discussion with both staff and students can inform future pedagogies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherBritish Council
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 May 2016
EventBritish Council 'Going Global' 2016 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 3 May 2016 → …


ConferenceBritish Council 'Going Global' 2016
Period3/05/16 → …


  • learning space design
  • global citizenship
  • technology enhanced learning


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