Over March – May of this year, Facilities Management conducted an online survey of student views on teaching rooms and informal study spaces, including questions on Learn and the ReVIEW lecture capture service. There were over 700 respondents. The data have not yet been analysed in detail but some of the statistics, and in particular the responses to some of the open text questions, make for interesting reading. Here I’ve created a Wordle ‘word cloud’ based on responses to the question: “Can you provide an example of a good teaching room and state why it is good?”
Over the summer, the Brockington Extension was refurbished resulting in some of the most imaginative teaching and informal learning spaces on campus. I took a look yesterday for the first time with a couple of Teaching Centre colleagues, with a view to using it for the forthcoming E-learning Showcase (about which more soon).
It was particularly interesting to see how students were using the informal learning spaces around the foyer, because there is a danger that high concepts do not reflect what students want or need. In this case, we were impressed how all the ‘pods’ (each featuring a large plasma screen) were being used by groups of students, with the whole area feeling relaxed yet productive. Colleagues in Teaching Support tell me they have had equally positive feedback from lecturers using the remodelled teaching rooms. U0.05 (shown on the right here) seats 60 in a horseshoe arrangement, which gives the feel of ‘theatre in the round’ and should contribute towards increased engagement with the group. It also features dual projection, which is very useful if you want to display something on the visualiser (aka ‘digital OHP’), for instance a hand-drawn diagram, while retaining your Powerpoint slides on the other screen. The room is bright, airy and spacious, and is exactly the sort of space that I for one would be happy to teach – or learn – in.