PKAL Learning Spaces Collaboratory National Colloquium

What We Know About Planning Learning Spaces and What We Still Need to Know

November 5 - 7, 2010

Westfields Marriott
- near Dulles Airport
Chantilly, Virginia

These two themes— what we know and what we still need to know— will be tightly woven into all sessions for this event, giving attention to three critical planning issues:
  1. Planning spaces that serve learners, learning and learning goals (student-centered; research-based pedagogies; etc.)
  2. Planning spaces that foster new kinds of learning communities (interdisciplinary STEM communities; virtual communities; informal learning communities; etc.)
  3. Planning spaces in a time when little or no funds are available, when it is possible and prudent to plan for the future (aligning space planning with institutional and academic planning; contributing to ‘greening’ the campus, etc.).

The colloquium will be of interest to:

  • Campus planning teams with responsibility for learning spaces, faculty, staff. The sessions will address planning issues and questions important at all stages of the planning process—from auditing the current reality to assessing the impact of the outcome of the planning process.

    Considering what we know: i) case studies will be presented of recent projects that exemplify good practices in addressing one or more of the issues woven through the colloquium (A.B.C., above). These sessions will be presented by teams of academics and architects responsible for the project; ii) panel discussions presenting and exploring research and theory that validates best practices in planning and designing 21st century spaces for learning.

  • Theorists and practitioners (architects, design and construction professionals, academics) with expertise and interest in exploring current research on learning, organizational change strategies, interdisciplinary communities, and in advancing that research. These session will address the research, current and emerging, about what difference spaces make to the experience of learning, as well as research on organizational change.

    Considering what we still need to know: i) a select group of papers outlining relevant research will be distributed prior to the colloquium; ii) clusters will be scheduled parallel to the case study presentations in which small groups will explore current research and wrestle with a specific what we still need to know question (e.g. technologies in the service of learning, virtual communities of practice, the efficacy of interdisciplinary spaces); iii) a plenary discussion of the cluster conversations.

Intended outcomes by Sunday noon:

  • For campus planning teams, an agenda for immediate and/or long-term action. There will be opportunities for one-on-one consultations with architects during the weekend.
  • For all interested participants, an agenda for continued exploration, through 2011, for addressing the various threads through the what we still need to know theme.

The PKAL Learning Space Collaboratory: