University of Wisconsin–Madison

REPORT: LEARNING SPACE IMPROVEMENTS

The Ad Hoc Committee on Learning Space Improvement was formed in the Fall of 2015 by the Provost’s Office and Facilities Planning and Management to identify priorities for learning space improvement projects. The committee received input from Department Chairs across campus and examined recent projects at other R-1 peer and UW System institutions. They also considered growing trends and practices that reflect recent studies on learning in higher education particularly in regard to active learning and new forms of student engagement.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Create “neighborhoods” across campus of shared contemporary active learning spaces to enable access and maximal utilization with cost efficiencies in staffing, technologies and upkeep.
  2. Re-examine policy and procedures on course scheduling to better align with instructional needs to more efficiently use our physical T&L infrastructure and emerging technological tools that provide new teaching & learning capabilities.
  3. Identify funding sources for classroom upgrades that could supplement allocations from UW System. In contrast to major structural remodeling, many classroom redesign needs may be accomplished with less expensive furniture and technology upgrades.
  4. Return on investment should guide learning space remodeling, even though that return on investment may be based on subjective data.
  5. Seriously deficient classrooms that are either too expensive to upgrade, or that are located in buildings that are not envisioned to have a significant remaining life, should be taken out of the general assignment classroom pool and repurposed, even if small investments must be made to repurpose them.

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