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Title: Development of a supportive tool for participatory learning space design
Author: Qaed, Fatema
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 7447
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2015
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All learning occurs within a space, whether this space is physical or virtual, but we have limited knowledge of how learning and teaching relate to it, particularly after a learning space’s users engage and adapt with it. A learning space is seen as a third teacher, but there is limited guidance for teachers on how to adapt designed elements of learning spaces. Therefore, this research aimed to empower teachers’ use of learning space without directly involving designers. It did so by sharing redesign opportunities for learning spaces that facilitate learning and teaching. There were three phases to this research: 1) Contextual review using literature review and observation; 2) Understanding learning space use and potential by investigating classroom space through student drawings, social network data, semi structured interviews, classroom photographs, and teachers’ planning books; and 3) Tool and Exemplar development of a supportive tool formed from structured sets of cards for guidance and inspiration. The first phase revealed a gap between what is written about learning in physical spaces and how these are designed. The second phase studied a range of current teachers’ practices to address this gap, and indicated that although teachers are aware of the importance of physical space, they do not always know how to adapt it to facilitate learning. The results also revealed learning space design elements which designers are unaware of, extending the initial framework from the first phase such. Findings from these studies supported design of a tool (third stage) to empower teachers’ use of space to support different learning and teaching approaches. Evaluation showed that the tool can improve teachers’ awareness of learning space design elements, and enable them to adapt space to support different teaching and learning approaches. Thus research helps both initial learning space designs by architects, as well as subsequent redesign by teachers through development of a practical tool.
Supervisor: Cockton, Gilbert ; Hilton, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W200 Design studies ; X300 Academic studies in Education