New standards ensure quality outputs for learning environment design

An advisory group that provides Faculty and School advice to the UNSW Learning Environments unit is providing key input on design standards. This input will guide the ongoing development of the University’s physical learning and teaching spaces, now and into the future.

The Learning Environmentss Design Advisory Group was established in early 2015 to provide University-wide input into how UNSW’s learning and teaching spaces, and the technologies and services supporting those spaces, will be designed. 

"The group provides a clear and consistent channel for input and advice from Faculties and Schools to the development of Learning Environments including audio visual, technology, space planning, fit-out and related services within the brief of the Learning Environments remit," said Advisory Group Chair David D’Arcy. 

The 13-member Advisory Group represents the interests of Faculties and Schools, as well as service units and students who interact directly with the Learning Environments unit. 

"In developing the Learning Environments Design Advisory Group, it was important to ensure that there was adequate representation from the many internal stakeholder groups that use our learning spaces," D’Arcy said. 

"The Group includes representation from a broad cross-section of the University including stakeholders from UNSW IT, Learning & Teaching, Learning Spaces, Facilities Management, Faculty IT and Academic Staff. In addition to the internally-facing members, students are represented by invitation."

The group is currently providing recommendations on emerging trends, developments, current issues and opportunities that will inform the development of the University’s design standards. These standards are set to have a visible impact on the user experience of learning and teaching spaces across the UNSW campus, providing a uniformity of approach that will ensure a minimum standard of quality and consistency throughout all campus learning spaces.

"Design standards will drive a consistent approach to design, fit-out and support," D’Arcy said.  

"Irrespective of what space they are using, students and staff will feel familiar with the layout and technology allowing them to focus on the learning and teaching activity they are there for."

Student and staff input to the development of the design standards is also coming through the Learning Spaces Project that has educational strategy and student and teacher experience at its core. The completed standards are due to be released in November. 

To provide feedback or ask questions about the design standards or about UNSW learning and teaching spaces, please visit our feedback page.