Learning space toolkit

Designing new learning spaces, or redesigning existing spaces involves a shift in learning and teaching practice. Teachers are encouraged to work collaboratively to build capacity and use new spaces to maximum effect.

The learning space toolkit recommends some strategies that can be used by schools who are engaged in a process of change.

Explore the toolkit

  • Build teacher capacity – Support your staff with professional learning to build their skills, knowledge and confidence in the effective use of learning space.
  • Identify desired learning – Define the purpose and rationale for change, and consider the learning modes required to achieve the learning intentions in the space.
  • Examine current research – Design your space informed by research on future-focused learning, space design and how space impacts learning.
  • Access existing examples – Explore and learn from schools that have experienced the journey of redesigning a learning space.
  • Build collective vision – Collaborate with and consult your school community to build an effective and meaningful vision that focuses on the learning and teaching outcomes that will be achieved through the redesigned space.
  • Mobilise technology – Create a learning space that enables the effective use of technology, which will support students to learn and connect in a collaborative and personalised way.
  • Design learning space – Plan, prototype and test when designing new learning spaces to make educated design choices before investing.
  • Plan to gather evidence – Collect and analyse the impact of your redesigned space on learning and teaching practice.  This will shape the future development of new spaces for enhanced learning.
  • Utilise the space – Capturing evidence of learning when using a new space influences the methods of support given to teachers to better maximize the opportunities their space presents.
  • Evaluate impact – Evaluate the impact of redesigned spaces on learning and teaching practices to reflect and learn from the positive and negative outcomes of that redesign.
  • Scale and diffuse – Reflect on and share successful achievements from your redesigned space to scale effective practices across your school.

Barrett, P. Zhang, Y. Davies, F. Barrett, L. 2015, Clever Classrooms: Summary report of the holistic evidence and design project.

Blackmore, Bateman, O'Mara, Loughlin 2011, The connection between learning spaces and learning outcomes: people and learning places.

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation 2015, School assets and student outcomes.

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation 2016, 5 Essentials for Effective Evaluation.

Cleveland, B. Soccio, P. and Love, P. 2016, Learning environment evaluation and the development of school facility design guidelines.

Cox, P. and Edwards, D. 2014, Restructuring teaching and learning in open-plans schools.

Dovey, K. and Fisher, K. 2014, Designing for adaptation: the school as socio-spatial assemblage.

Fisher, K. 2005, Research into identifying effective learning environments.

Imms, W. Cleveland, B. and Fisher, K. 2016, Pursuing the elusive evidence about what works in learning environment design.

LEARN 2016, Can altering teacher mind frames unlock the potential of innovative learning environments?

Ministry of Education, New Zealand, How infrastructure can support innovative learning.

NSW Department of education 2013, Great Teaching Inspired Learning.

OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation 2015, Schooling Redesigned: towards innovative learning systems.

Richardson, W. and Dixon, B. 2017, 10 Principles for Schools of Modern Learning.

Ructtinger, L and Stevens R. 2017, Learning Spaces Literature Review.

Sweeney, R. 2016, Building collaborative teaching as inquiry teams using spirals of inquiry.

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