Learning Spaces Project

The Learning Spaces Project was a University-wide initiative that ran from January to December 2015. It was designed to lead the development of student-centred, flexible and connected learning environments at UNSW that respond to current and future learning and teaching needs. This University-wide project responded to a changing educational landscape in which technological developments and new approaches to pedagogy are changing the way we learn.

The Project produced a strategy and design principles to guide the design and development of learning environments at UNSW. This strategy will help:

  • align investment in our learning environments with the University’s educational and 2025 strategy

  • create standardised and consistent approaches to the design and provision of learning environments and supporting services

  • deliver innovative approaches that facilitate active and participatory learning

  • provide an opportunity for UNSW to engage with current, emerging and future styles of learning and teaching

  • respond to the desire of staff and students to be co-designers of their learning environments

  • design end-to-end service models that better support the needs of teachers and students               

Who was involved with the Learning Spaces Project?

The Learning Spaces Project sought to enhance the learning and teaching experience at UNSW – therefore, it had far reaching implications for staff and students across UNSW campuses. The Project was sponsored by Professor Iain Martin, Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), was guided by a 13-member Project Board with Faculty, School and Divisional stakeholders, and drew on student and teacher involvement throughout. Together we explored the kinds of learning experiences we wanted to enable and what that might mean for our spaces and services.

Engagement initiatives

Key platforms for engagement during the Learning Spaces Project included:  

  • U-Collaborate, an event that brought students, academic and executive staff together to create a vision of future learning environments at UNSW

  • the student survey, which asked 4500 UNSW students how and where they like to study. 

A third initiative, the Pilot Active Learning Spaces (PALS) project, is ongoing. The PALS project is focused on trialling dynamic new learning spaces at UNSW. These spaces facilitate collaborative and blended learning, and embody the future focus of the Learning Environments Strategy. Staff and students began piloting the spaces in Semester 1 2016; their feedback will help shape the development of future learning environments at UNSW.