Learning environments of the 21st century should promote a multitude of approaches for student learning. This can be facilitated by creating spaces that support both individual and group work, provide space for presentation, exploration, promote interaction and a sense of community, and foster both formal and informal learning.
21st century educational spaces shall provide opportunities to make connections through learning with peers, faculty, family and the surrounding community and should encourage learning and growth.
As technology progresses, facilities must be able to accommodate the needs of the future, and therefore adaptations need to support this. Due to engaged teaching methods and ever changing technology, spaces must be designed to be flexible and should accommodate the blending of physical and digital learning environments.
While it is recognized that the Library is a critical resource for learning today and printed books play a supporting role, it is also critical to embrace digital technologies, active learning methodologies and transform the traditional “library” into a learning commons. The currently underutilized Library space will be transformed into a Multi-Media Commons, an academic hub, where students and faculty gather to foster interaction and connection. A space which will foster learning and communication, host integrated technology and flexible enough to quickly manifest itself to accommodate a myriad of activities. The newly transformed Multi-Media Center will be a place to engage, explore, collaborate and learn.
The following spaces and technologies will be integrated to the transformation of the
Instructional Space – This flexible space will host the necessary technologies for a
flexible, active learning environment.
Classroom Space – A newly created enclosed classroom space will provide much need
additional teacher led learning space.
Distance Learning – Areas assigned for students enrolled in online classes will have a
place to reside and attend class.
Print and Digital Resources – Current print resources will be retained and provided adequate shelving space. A tech desk will provide access to and training for the latest digital technologies for research and information gathering.
Quiet Zones – Areas for quiet study and research will be established and maintained.
A/V Lab with Control Room
Collaborative Space both open and closed - Enclosed Collaborative spaces with
glass walls for sound privacy with visual access will be provided.
Enhanced Printing Technologies – 3D Printing, Large Format and Color Printing
Furnishings - Diverse and flexible seating with lounge seating, high tables and chairs,
ottomans and sofas, quiet study, as well as standard table and chairs. Comfortable seating to support individuals and large and small groups will be added. It is important to provide variety to meet the needs of all different students.
When the freedom to explore is encouraged, possibilities are endless.