The LaTTE project aimed to look towards the future and the spaces that our staff and students will need, expect and will achieve highly in. To this end, we developed an existing Learning and Teaching room, where the project team is spending a semester exploring, investigating and evaluating what a ‘perfect’ Learning and Teaching environment might be. This room has enabled testing and research of various new classroom facilities covering five key areas: Furniture, Technology, Environment, Support and Infrastructure, and is based in MC229 on City Campus.
|MC229 Original Layout||MC229 LaTTE Room|
A survey was initially distributed that asked staff for their thoughts, ideas and aspirations on a room that could support their teaching and engage their students. This was followed by in-depth discussions with representatives (staff and students) from academic schools and departments. This research provided a template which the chosen design company, Jam Tree, based their design on. The project team asked Jam Tree to propose a flexible space that facilitated individual, small group and large group work which facilitated accessibility. Space had to be made for PC screens and magnetic glass boards by each table and the tables had to provide power points for student electronic devices. Two key requirements from staff were regarding suitable lighting in the room and removing the barrier of the current PC cabinets to enable a more open and inclusive environment.
The room was available for teaching in semester 2 (12/13) and an interim evaluation [LINK] was presented to the Student Experience Committee in May 2013. The full evaluation will be disseminated following the end of teaching in July 2013. Academically, the room was used by 5 out of the 8 schools and for a variety of levels ranging from LEAP to Level 7. Additionally, schools and departments used the room for away days, meetings and showcase days. Initial feedback indicates that 70% of students feel the room has impacted positively on their learning and 85% of students appreciated that the layout of the room facilitated group work and this was the most popular aspect to the room, followed closely (70%) by the ability to have the main screen projected onto a screen next to each table. Tutor feedback has been overwhelming positive with examples given of the room encouraging debate and communication (peer to peer as well as peer to student), being able to swap pedagogical approaches without having to swap rooms and being able to assist students individually or in groups in a more accessible way.
Recommendations from the final evaluation report will be presented to the relevant committees and reported on here.
The LaTTE Project Blog captured the progress of the LaTTE room in pictures.