A collaborative approach to learning space development has resulted in a transformation of the Law Library.
Two existing computer labs in the library have been upgraded into active learning environments that support lab teaching and a range of educational pedagogies. Outside of formal class times, the rooms are available for student-led learning.
The new interactive spaces, which were launched at the beginning of session 2 this year, are equipped with pod-style seating, screen sharing capabilities, device ports and high-speed wi-fi.
This approach is part of a broader UNSW shift towards digitsation of course content, which enables students to choose when, where and how they study, and also creates new opportunities for the development of multi-purpose learning spaces.
“We are excited to have two interactive learning spaces in Law and the possibilities it opens up for supporting and enhancing collaborative learning,” says Operations Manager for UNSW Law, Victoria Edwards.
The Law Library project is the result of extensive collaboration between the Learning Environments Unit and the Faculty of Law. Staff and students were involved in planning the new spaces, and played a critical role in communicating the project aims and values to the broader UNSW Law community.
Engaging with students was also key to the contingency planning process for the project. As some of the works took place during exam periods, the Learning Environments team worked closely with the Law Faculty, Facilities Management and Timetabling to provide alternative study spaces that would minimise disruption for students.
“The project team worked carefully and flexibly to minimise disruption to library users, and arranged for alternative study space for students,” Edwards says.
The Law Library is just one of a suite of current and planned active learning space development projects being rolled out by the Learning Environments team. Other initiatives include a redevelopment at Square House, completed in July this year, which resulted in the conversion of four existing 20-capacity teaching spaces into two 42-capacity active learning spaces.
The new rooms support collaborative learning, and have been fitted out with configurable furniture, whiteboard perimeters and hi-speed wi-fi. Existing balconies have been repurposed as student-led spaces. The redesign is part of the broader 2025 Strategy, and the Learning Environment team’s work on delivering the Scientia Educational Experience, in which world-class teaching and learning environments are key to enhancing the student experience.