Growing student numbers, increased student expectations, new approaches to learning, and fast-paced technological advances all contribute to the need for universities to take a more strategic approach to their buildings, including formal and informal learning spaces. Exploring Informal Learning Space in the University addresses the issue of informal learning space from the perspectives of a comprehensive range of stakeholders, including students, academics, facilities managers, university managers, IT managers, architects, interior designers, and librarians.
With contributions from a range of experts, practitioners and academics around the world, this book uses a combination of case studies and theoretical discussion to explore the rationale and theory of informal learning space alongside the practicalities of its planning, development and utilization. The volume is at once ambitious and pragmatic, combining innovative thinking with a firm awareness of practicalities, including the varied constraints faced by universities and the need to work in tandem with broader strategies.
Advocating broad collaboration at both planning and delivery stage, the result is essential reading for anyone involved in the delivery of learning space provision – from architects and designers, to university managers and strategists. It will also be of particular interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students engaged in the study of library & information science or higher education policy and strategy.
"The significance of space in supporting learning in higher education, overlooked for too long, has in recent years begun to receive the attention it deserves. But it has become increasingly understood that learning does not take place only - or even primarily - in the lecture theatre, seminar room, library or laboratory. This book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of how the design and management of informal spaces right across the university contribute to learning, and what universities and colleges need to do to make the most of these vital spaces."
Paul Temple - Institute of Education, UCL, UK
"A fascinating and important volume on the definition, design, use and management of informal learning spaces in libraries, neatly blending theory with practice. As well as exploring the tension between tradition and innovation within HE as changes in pedagogical practices inform new approaches, the book details the relationship between spaces and learning theory. An essential read for anyone involved in planning or designing library spaces, or improving student experience."
Andy Priestner - Director, Andy Priestner Training & Consulting; Founder, User Experience in Libraries Conference
1 Informal Space and Learning in the University - An Introduction
Graham Matthews and Graham Walton
2 The Strategic Perspective
3 Learning Space and Campus Planning: Theoretical Deliberations and Practical Implementations
4 The Architect’s Perspective
5 Interior Design
6 Building New Informal Learning Spaces: Mini Case Studies
Romana Martin and Tania Broadley
7 Effective Use of Information and Communication Technologies
8 A Facilities Management Perspective
9 Informal Learning Spaces in University Libraries
Alan Steele, Margaret P. J. Haines and Valerie A. Critchley
10 Student Perspectives
11 Evaluation and Monitoring
Graham Walton and Graham Matthews
12 Informal Learning Space: The Future – Swimming with Whales?
Graham Matthews and Graham Walton