A series of Learning Environments projects are transforming existing university teaching spaces into flexible, dynamic spaces that support a range of learning styles and experiences. Students will engage with both collaborative (group-focused) and interactive (technology-driven) environments, and will also benefit from activated student-led spaces that support ongoing learning beyond formal class times.
To date, 18 active learning spaces have been established at UNSW. An additional 30 spaces are proposed to be delivered by the beginning of 2018.
These new spaces will be the result of the following projects:
Four existing teaching spaces, each with capacity for 20 students, will be converted into two 42-capacity rooms that facilitate collaborative learning. The new rooms will be embedded with configurable, pod-style furniture and whiteboard perimeters. External balconies will also be transformed into student-led spaces, and fitted out with new furniture and access to power. High-speed Wi-fi functionality in both formal and informal learning spaces will enable students to access cloud-based programs and associated web content from their own devices. Re-purposing existing teaching spaces to support a range of educational pedagogies contributes to the delivery of world class teaching and learning environments at UNSW, and also responds to growing teaching space demand on the Kensington campus. The Square House project is due to be completed in July 2017 and will be ready for use in Semester 2 2017.
Two existing computer labs in the Law Library will be upgraded into interactive learning spaces embedded with the latest educational technologies. These include pod-style desks with power, device ports, screen sharing capabilities, high-speed wi-fi functionality and access to a range of cloud-based applications. The upgraded rooms will facilitate more engaging lab teaching, and will also accommodate a range of other learning and teaching styles. The Law Library project is due to be completed in July 2017, and will be ready for use in Semester 2.
This project will deliver two recording studios on the ground floor of the Goodsell Building. The project is part of the Inspired Learning Initiative , which is focused on the digitisation of UNSW curricula. The studios will enable the pre-recording of lectures and discussions, the creation of supplementary digital content to support new modes of learning, and the delivery of fully online and blended courses. Each studio will be 28 square metres, and will house technologies such as lights, cameras, screens and screencasting equipment. A control room and visitors’ area will complete the spaces. The Goodsell project is due to be completed in late 2017.
Quadrangle & Business School
A new precinct project will deliver active learning spaces across the Quadrangle (ground and first floors) and Business School (first and second floors). The precinct will include:
- six interactive learning spaces, with pod-style seating, screen sharing and moveable furniture
- one computer lab upgraded to an additional interactive learning space
- twenty one collaborative learning spaces, with configurable furniture and whiteboards for group work
- eight ‘turn-and-learn’, power-enabled lecture theatres, with whiteboards on the walls
- more than 700 square metres of student-led spaces, with zones for scholarly, collaborative, social and community learning; and an activated kitchenette.
High-speed wi-fi will be integrated throughout the precinct. This project will also facilitate pedestrian flow between the Quadrangle and Business School buildings by building a new internal linkage between Level 2 Business School and Level 1 Quadrangle. It responds to the UNSW 2025 Strategy goals to deliver world-class learning environments that drive educational excellence and maximise student engagement. The first stage will be delivered for start of session in Semester 1 2018.
A series of new informal learning environments will be developed on the ground and mezzanine floors of the Red Centre. This project responds to existing research that shows a shortage of student-led spaces on the UNSW campus. The redevelopment of underutilised space in the Red Centre has significant potential to meet student demand. Further, the Red Centre’s central location and proximity to student-led amenities makes it an ideal site for a project of this nature. The outcome will be a series of multi-purpose student-led spaces, including zones for scholarly and collaborative learning, an amphitheatre, and exhibition space for Built Environment student projects. These spaces will enable students to engage with collaborative and scholarly learning outside the classroom, and will provide opportunities for social interaction. The Red Centre development will contribute to the aim of the UNSW 2025 Strategy and the Scientia Educational experience to provide access to personalised and flexible education for all UNSW students.
Tyree Energy Technologies Building (TETB)
Refurbishments in the Tyree Energy Technologies Building (TETB) will result in the implementation of collaborative, interactive and student-led spaces across the building. The project will include the transformation of:
- two computer labs, which will be upgraded to interactive teaching spaces that champion active learning
- three lectures theatres, which will be activated with whiteboard perimeters that support collaborative learning
- a range of spaces on the lower ground and ground floors, which will be repurposed into scholarly and collaborative student spaces, including standing workspaces.
The new spaces will provide opportunities for the delivery of new learning and teaching approaches, both within the classroom and beyond. The project is currently being planned for delivery in 2019.
Active Learning Initiative