Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Classroom Design is Being Upended

Games are becoming more integrated into education because students are demanding more engaging experiences. That, in turn, is changing the way classrooms are set up.

Instead of an instructor facing rows of desks, thought leaders in the field now envision classrooms equipped with desks on wheels, movable walls, and screens that allow students to work out gaming solutions in groups.

“It’s a huge deal,” Robert Brodnick, founder of the Brodnick Consulting Group Inc., said in an article for eCampus News. “Classrooms have remained unchanged for decades. We’ve learned this all really matters. If you build and create spaces in a more flexible way, you’re not dictating to students how they’re going to have to learn.”

Gamification is just one part of what is happening to classroom space these days, according to Brodnick. The space need to be flexible enough to accommodate multiple learning formats, such as makerspaces that encourages students to invent and learn. There should be room for immersive visual learning and enough space to promote personalized, project-based learning.

“What we’re starting to realize is that learning is happening out of the classroom more and more, as students are increasingly connected to each other and to information through their phones,” he said. “Learning by doing is much more powerful than acquiring content and apply it five years later on the job. As you move around throughout the day, you have learning experiences, and it’s having a significant impact on how campuses are designed. You might not need as many classrooms or as many bookshelves in libraries.”

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