This is a presentation that was given at the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Newer Researchers’ Conference 2011: New communities, spaces and places: inspiring futures for higher education, 6-7 December 2011, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales.
The presentation outlines some of the findings from my year long master’s research project. The study revealed that both tutors and students experienced ‘troublesome space’, but in very different ways. For tutors, the learning spaces, if not fully understood or appropriately planned for, presented risks and challenges to their teaching practices. For students, it was not always clear what they could or could not do within a particular space.
Furthermore, evidence suggests that influencing students’ attitudes could engage them in using the learning environment more. However, students placed a high premium on ‘silent spaces’ (Beard, 2009) suggesting that policy makers and planners may need to consider the right balance between social and private spaces.
Finally, it proposes a conceptual model which illustrates the alignment of pedagogy, space and technology with the learner situated at its heart.