Learning Spaces


 The Learning Spaces Fellows Program (LSFP) is an opportunity for faculty to re-evaluate the power and potential of the environments, physical and digital, in which they teach and learn. Through the LSFP fellows will be provided with attention and support in order to bring life to innovative curricular explorations as we look to redefine the classroom concept. 

The LSFP is focused on creating memorable learning experiences for faculty and students through the use of appropriate and innovative applications of space, technology, and pedagogy. As such the program benefits students through the increased capacity of faculty to capitalize on the learning spaces that help to frame their courses. 

Spaces of Interest

Learning spaces are not limited to the traditional concept of a classroom. The LSFP challenges participants to expand their conception of a classroom to include any environment where learning happens. The LSFP invites faculty teaching in the following areas (and beyond) to join in the exploration of learning in alternative spaces. 

  • Standard desk/table classrooms (occupancy >50)
  • Large lecture-style classrooms (occupancy <50)
  • Flexible furniture adaptable classrooms
  • Meeting/conference rooms
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Online spaces (either full time or hybrid)
  • Laboratories
  • Field localities
  • More...

Incubator Classroom

 

The Incubator Classroom is a state-of-the-art learning space that has been designed to support VCU faculty members and students in their exploration and study of new learning spaces. Located in the Academic Learning Commons (ALC 4110), the Incubator Classroom contains a wide array of technologies and furniture that combine to provide unique opportunities to enhance teaching and learning. Participants in the LSFP have an opportunity to utilize the Incubator Classroom as part of their exploration of space and learning. 


Design Features of the Incubator Classroom

  • Multiple points of projection (via flat panel video wall displays & standard retractable screens)

  • Raised floor with boxes for power and alternative display options

  • No “front of room” orientation

  • Flexible and highly configurable furniture

  • Fixed and mobile whiteboards

Technology in the Incubator Classroom

  • Podium PC with two (2) computers

  • Standard and Smart (annotation capability) monitors at podium, supports multiple and extended display options

  • Document camera

  • 70″ touchscreen interactive display

  • Video conferencing capabilities (Zoom)

Program Details

Program Dates: Fall '17 (August - December), Spring '18 (January - May)

Expectations: 

  • Teaching Fellows are required to participate in periodic group and one-on-one orientation and planning meetings. Participants should expect a minimum time investment of two hours per month. Additionally, those teaching in the Incubator classroom will be required to attend an on-site orientation to the Incubator classroom  to learn about the features and functionality of the space to support innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Awardees will be notified of orientation times and dates. 
  • All teaching fellows agree to allow their classes to be observed for research purposes that contribute to and advance our collective understanding of learning spaces. 
  • All teaching fellows will be asked to share the results of their experiences teaching in the program with the wider VCU community. 

Resources

Being a part of the Learning Spaces Fellows Program allows faculty to contribute to the collection of research and knowledge on learning spaces currently being cultivated at VCU. Explore the pages below to uncover the questions surrounding space and pedagogy currently being unraveled. 

Contact:

Enoch Hale, Ph.D.; ehale2@vcu.edu 

Resources from VCU