Learning Spaces and 21st Century Skills

Take a look at this fascinating graphic (click on the link, it’s a pdf):

A Fabric of Learning in Spaces 2013
(developed by the architecture firm SRG and  Jeanne Narum of the Learning Spaces Collaboratory)

At the left, you’ll see a list of 21st century skills, including Adaptability, Collaboration, and Innovation.

At the top, you’ll see a list of various types of physical spaces that are found on college campuses.

The content of the graphic shows to what extent each skill is fostered in each type of space. There is so much rich information here, but the first thing to notice is that “Traditional Classrooms” do the least to foster these skills. And “Tiered Classrooms” (like you find in a business school) aren’t much better.

So what do you think the college campus of the future should look like? What will we do with all of those lecture halls? After all, if this graphic is correct, then why wouldn’t we “flip” all classrooms and have all lectures videotaped and delivered over the Internet?

(Also check out my previous posts “The Future of College” and “Will the Internet transform college?”)

6 thoughts on “Learning Spaces and 21st Century Skills

  1. Is there data that supports these conclusions? It also seems that there are lots of types of labs listed that are distinguished by the activities that occur in them as opposed to the physical features of the lab. For example, what is the difference between a Discovery Lab, Reaserch Lab, and Testing Lab? Lastly, why no measures along the lines of “mastery of material” or “quality of research results”?

    1. Very good points!

      I don’t believe this is based in an analysis of data, but rather it is a first-pass broad-brush analysis. I guess that means that whether you believe it or not depends on how much you trust the collaborative team that developed it. It is largely consistent with my own experience; however, I agree with you that those three labs seem like they would occur in similar spaces (although I really don’t know).

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