Traditional university designs primarily promote lecturer-focused environments. In these spaces, the lecturer or professor remains at the lectern and the room is designed to focus attention on this privileged position. The transmission of knowledge occurs along a largely one-way trajectory, from lecturer to students. Students are positioned in these spaces as passive receivers of knowledge, not active participants in their own learning journey.
While traditional lecturer-focused environments will probably always have their place, many universities are using refurbishment projects as an opportunity to move towards more modern, evidence-based designs for their teaching spaces. This involves setting up collaborative spaces where students and lecturers interact on a personal level.
One particularly popular example of this is “flipped classrooms”.
Flipped classrooms are spaces where students are physically placed on a more even footing to the lecturer. Rather than being the central repository of all knowledge, the lecturer facilitates and guides discussions, encouraging students to learn as much from one another as from the lecturer themselves. As such, the situation is “flipped” from traditional, lecturer-focused scenarios. The physical setup of a flipped classroom facilitates this approach. Think small group tables surrounded by chairs and plenty of open space.
Technology still plays a role. Large screens can display information the lecturer wishes to share, or it may allow students to share work with one another for review. This aspect also makes flipped classrooms conducive to distance or multi-campus education, as classrooms or individuals can be connected via the internet.
Premis Solutions has worked with many universities to deliver modern learning spaces that move away from traditional lecturer-focused environments. Click here to see an example of a flipped classroom Premis delivered for Griffith University. You can also contact Premis today to learn more about how we can help you incorporate collaborative learning spaces in your next university fitout or refurbishment