Andrew Middleton (@andrewmid) is Head of Academic Practice and Learning Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University. He leads the Media-Enhanced Learning SIG. In both capacities, innovative thinking about the importance of space to learning and their effect on student belonging has driven his research and practice.
In this tweetchat we will consider learning and space and how they relate to each other, especially as we think about the future of learning in higher education.
Developing thinking about teaching and learning in higher education by focussing on learning spaces reveals why academic innovation can be so difficult when trying to address priorities as single issues. Consideration of learning spaces necessitates a holistic and experiential view of the world and immediately challenges convenient beliefs, silo thinking, or assumptions that innovation is individual and ‘ownable’. Innovation is an output of networked co-production.
At every turn, conceptualising spaces for learning brings you up against artificial binaries and borders where your own thinking rubs up against that of people with different interests, roles and drivers. Framing innovation in the context of learning spaces demands that we work with others. Learning spaces affect and are affected by educational developers, learning technologists, academics, students, estates manager, caterers, senior managers, AV managers, information specialists, disabled student support teams… well everyone.
This interdependency is increasing as we remember that the richest learning experiences, as with the richest uncertain conceptualisations of knowledge, happen on the borders and across boundaries. For example, what used to be conceived as the binary of formal or informal spaces is an organisational construct; not a cognitive construct. Similarly, the binary of physical-digital is widely understood as having little value in the age of permeable and persistent digital-social media. The learning experience today does not recognise these inherited demarcations. Instead, I argue, we conceive of learning space as being hybrid and experiential
The storify will follow shortly after the chat.