Connecting Desired Student Behaviors and Optimal Spaces

Connecting Desired Student Behaviors and Optimal Spaces

Credit: Jon Gaffney

For more on using physical spaces to support learning, see the section on Physical Environment: Collaboration and Learning.

Desired behavior
Optimal spaces
Unsupportive spaces
Features to consider
Listen
Lecture hall
Fixed round-table classroom; lounge; lab space with equipment in the way
Clear front to classroom; open space for demonstrations; chalkboard or whiteboard; audio/video recording capabilities
Discuss
Fixed round-table classroom; open workspace
Lecture hall (except when discussing in pairs); fixed laboratory space with equipment in the way
Ability for students to see each other and each other’s names
Solve
Fixed round-table classroom; open workspace
Lecture hall; fixed laboratory space with equipment in the way
Lots of whiteboards; space for students to move around
Present
Formal: lecture hall; informal: open workspace
Fixed round-table classroom; lounge; lab space with equipment in the way
Whiteboard or chalkboard; audio/video recording capabilities
Seek information
Open workspace; fixed round-table classroom; fixed laboratory space
Lecture hall
Computers or space for computers; room for instructor to interact directly with students
Experiment
Fixed or flexible laboratory space; fixed round-table classroom with room for equipment
Lecture hall; open workspace
Easy and universal access to equipment; tables appropriate to the size of student groups and the desired level of interaction with equipment
Write code or use simulations
Open workspace; computer classroom
Rooms without adequate technology or space
Computers; internet; desks large enough to comfortably use computers; appropriate layout for instructor and students to see each other’s work
Socialize
Lounge; laboratory space; round-table classroom
Lecture hall
Comfortable furniture; ability for students to see each other; access to food, beverages, and kitchen appliances