Learning space planning

The value of ‘Engaged Enquiry’ at Sydney is shaped by “a seamlessness in the learning of our students and researchers, sharpening skills in critical thinking and analysis to advance knowledge and understanding” (white paper p63).

These values are shaping our learning space planning, bringing coherence to concepts underpinning our physical and virtual learning networks which make up integrated learning space at Sydney.

At the centre of planning are the perspectives of students and teachers. For that reason, the DVC(Education) and DVC(Strategic Management) established a review of learning and teaching space across the University, calling for the views of students and faculties. The outcomes of the review were endorsed by the University Senior Executive Group in November that year and have provided a basis for the planning described below.

Standards for Learning and Teaching Space

In 2012, the Learning Space Standards Project commenced as one of the follow up activities to the review. The Learning Space Standards Project is part of the Vice-Chancellors Workslate (project ) and the description of the project is available here.

The Learning Space Standards Project, sponsored by the DVC (Education) and the Chief Information Officer, is led by the Director of eLearning and Learning Space. Sydney eLearning is working with CIS and ICT to identify sustainable minimum standards for our different categories of learning space.

In the first half of 2012, consultation with faculties and students is occurring through representatives nominated by Deans and student representative bodies. A report on University standards for learning and teaching space will be provided by year end and promulgated through the relevant SEG committees. These will become a basis for planning improvements to shared learning and teaching space across the University.

If you would like to make a submission to this project, please contact Kathleen.Donohoe@sydney.edu.au

Improving measurement of learning space

Under the strategy to apply University teaching excellence to assess infrastructure needs and priorities (7d), the Senior Executive Group requested in March 2012 that sustainable and accurate metrics for all University Teaching and Learning Space be captured and maintained on the University timetable system. To assess learning and teaching space needs and priorities, the University requires a baseline of accurate data that identifies what we have and how much we use it.

To meet these requirements, Sydney eLearning is working with University timetabling and CIS to describe provision and usage of all learning and teaching space on the University Timetable system and to align this with Archibus, the source of University space allocation.

This project aligns with the recommendation from the 2011 University Learning Space Review for the annual publication of Learning Space metrics by Sydney eLearning and CIS. These metrics will include indications of student and teaching perspectives on the function and purpose of learning and teaching space, capacity measures (what, how much); flexibility measures (where, when, disciplinary appropriateness); integration measures (with curricula, between physical and virtual networks). The purpose of the metrics is to enable decision-making about sustainable innovation across shared University learning and teaching space.

For further information about this project, please contact