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About this book

This text challenges binary perceptions of space and explores the possibilities afforded by a hybrid learning space at the intersection of physical, virtual, formal and informal spaces. It examines how new technologies and modes of delivery, including media-enhanced learning and open education, present opportunities as well as challenges. Chapters are supported by a wealth of case studies which illustrate academic innovation in diverse learning spaces and demonstrate how it can be used to inspire learners and promote student engagement.

Packed with practical guidance and questions for reflection and discussion, this thought-provoking and timely guide is an essential resource for anyone involved in improving the student learning experience.

Table of Contents

New spaces in the learning landscape

Frontmatter

1. Space to think

Abstract
This chapter introduces Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education and its exploration of how learning and space work together in the digital-social age towards a conceptualisation of a hybrid learning space (Stommel, 2012). It considers how the lived learning experience is affected by the built and digital context and how we, as teachers, students, managers and developers, must look more closely at space to ensure learning remains engaging, challenging and relevant to the development of knowledge, lifelong capabilities and habits.
Andrew Middleton

2. Space to learn

Abstract
To understand learning space, we must first understand learning. In 1995 Barr and Tagg introduced their principle-based Learning Paradigm, which clarifies what is meant by learner-centredness; the philosophy underpinning thinking about spaces for learning. This provides our starting point.We then turn to more recent concepts that reframe the learning paradigm for the digital-social age and which allow us to conceive of the hybrid learning space
Andrew Middleton

3. Renegotiating the lifewide learning landscape

Abstract
Recognition of the learning paradigm highlights the inadequacy of the formal-informal binary as a construct for conceptualising learning space. In this chapter, the value of non-formal space emerges as a useful construct for reflecting learning as it is experienced individually and socially. The meanings and implications of formal provision, flexible learning, non-formal learning, friendship and belonging, social presence, learning context, and ‘place’ are all explored. A hybrid view of learning space as pervasive, augmented and learner-centred is developed.
Andrew Middleton

4. In-between spaces

Abstract
A student learns across boundaries. Class, online, home, work and so many other places connect as spatial points in an expansive landscape. Campus design must play its part in integrating this multidimensional modality by incorporating a student’s individual and social needs for formal and non-formal engagement (SCHOMS et al., 2016). This chapter considers ways of looking at spaces, places and boundaries, and the benefit for students to create a stronger sense of their experiential ‘identityscape’ (Hancock & Spicer, 2011). It considers the concepts of Third Space, Third Place, liminality, boundary space, vernacular spaces, and learning networks, and concludes that in-between spaces that connect one experience to another are a critical dimension of the concept of hybrid learning space.
Andrew Middleton

5. Open spaces

Abstract
The extended, open, connected learning space challenges traditional views of the university as being a well-demarcated and immovable space. Openness is both threatening and inspiring and is not something that can be ignored. Openness, in its many meanings, provides opportunities for the educator to consider how learning at university is situated, how actions and knowledge can be related to meaningful contexts, and how the ways that people learn can reflect how people work (Brown et al., 1989). An outcome of a university education must be capabilities and strategies that define the graduate as being current, agile, contextually aware, creative, critical and resilient. This requires educators to reconstruct a higher education that develops epistemological knowledge in authentic situations.
Andrew Middleton

6. Being an academic innovator

Abstract
Innovation is a necessary response to change and critical to the design and adoption of new spaces for learning. Three case studies address academic innovation in this chapter. First, in case study no. 9 I discuss academic innovation with Anne Nortcliffe; a close colleague and a creative and resilient innovator, committed to her subject and her students. Second, Toby Carter, an innovative teacher and faculty Director of Learning and Teaching at Anglia Ruskin University, reflects on his experience of adopting new methods and supporting innovative colleagues in case study 10. Third, in case study no. 11, Shaun Hides discusses how the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) at Coventry University was established to promote disruptive innovation at an institutional level.
Andrew Middleton

New ways of being

Frontmatter

7. Being open and flexible

Abstract
This chapter looks beyond familiar and traditional ideas of university to consider spaces that support autonomous learning in which learning is situated within real, lifewide and lifelong experiences. It aims to help us think differently about learning in an age when universities are exposed to external disruptive forces that have changed other professions beyond recognition (Barber et al., 2013). Many of the book’s case studies reveal an altruistic spirit evident in mutually supportive networks characterised by ‘loosely tied co-operative modes of learning’ and which ‘function around more flexible links between participants on a more ad hoc basis’ (Cronin et al., 2016, p. 2). Following a review of coffee house education, we begin to consider this co-operative ideal in a study, stripped of its digitality, located in the English pub.
Andrew Middleton

8. Being digital: literacies, capabilities and fluency

Abstract
Being digitally literate requires much more than being skilled in using digital technologies. Digital literacies are about being digitally minded in study, work and life and, like academic literacies more generally, are integral to today’s learning landscape. This chapter charts the digital literacies discourse since it emerged in the early 2000s and then reviews contemporary understandings. It concludes by summarising digital literacies as a dimension of the lifewide hybrid learning space.
Andrew Middleton

9. Being social: the connected learning space

Abstract
The case studies in this chapter explore the relationship of social media to learning and show how it creates an augmented networked learning experience which extends across, permeates and consequently disrupts understanding of learning in more traditional formal and non-formal spaces (see Fig. 9.1, Augmented Learning Space). In this way, social media establish a user-centred and co-constructed hybrid learning space; one that reaches beyond higher education’s boundaries to incorporate lifewide learning contexts and leading to the creation of a lifelong learning space.
Andrew Middleton

10. Being mobile

Abstract
Mobile learning has been hard to conceptualise (Traxler, 2007) and development has tended to focus more on the potential of emerging technology and less on the potential of access to new situations until recently. Early techno-centric definitions promised ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ learning spaces (Traxler, 2007, 2009). The focus on technology has given way to thinking about the importance of mobility, the learner’s situation and their access to people and resources, regardless of place and time (Kukulska-Hulme, 2010). Context is now central to thinking about mobile learning (Traxler, 2016).
Andrew Middleton

11. Being smart

Abstract
Smart learning conjures up a picture of the self-determined nomadic learner (Alexander, 2004) engaged in nomadic thought (Deleuze & Guattari, 2004), caught up in the flows and eddies that connect to and reach beyond just-in-time formal education. An education today must prepare the student to engage with the world purposefully across lifewide spaces. In the era of BYOD, learning spans formal and non-formal spaces to accommodate deliberative, reactive, incidental and connective motivations. Learning space becomes fluid as we instinctively make arrangements to meet, check and correct our notes and data, seek help and learning friendship and live our learning in sync with our working by crossing boundaries that were previously impermeable and invisible to education (Brown et al., 1989). Now it seems any space is navigable and this opens a new horizon for the nomadic hybrid learner.
Andrew Middleton

12. Being rich: learning in the age of YouTube

Abstract
This chapter considers the qualities of a rich media-enhanced experience. It challenges the over-dependence of academic practice on written texts, arguing that it is anachronistic. The written word, in its many forms, has proven to be a highly flexible medium for academic purposes, and will remain so. However, the continued dominance of the written word in academic practice indicates a lack of awareness amongst academics, or their lack of confidence, about media-enhanced learning and its rich possibilities.
Andrew Middleton

13. Being there: active learning spaces

Abstract
Students in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Maths) classes with traditional lecturing are 1.5 times more likely to fail their course than students in classes with active learning (Freeman et al., 2014). Students engaged through modes of active learning can develop higher conceptual understanding and achieve greater success than students engaged in didactic paradigms (Dori & Belcher, 2005). Such statements, combined with what we know about authentic, digital-social age pedagogy and learning habits, demand that higher education looks closely at its built pedagogy and the nature of its commitment to built space.
Andrew Middleton

14. Future learning spaces: context and connections

Abstract
This concluding chapter consolidates the conception of a future hybrid learning space. It begins by summarising the book’s discussion and key themes. The ENABLE pedagogic framework (Megele, 2014a, 2014b, 2015) is reviewed as an exemplar of a progressive hybrid learning philosophy; an understanding that can inform all we do in the future learning paradigm. The requirement to embrace uncertainty and risk in the development of innovative practice is elicited through a final review of the book’s case studies. The chapter concludes with some final suggestions for approaching the reconfiguration of learning space.
Andrew Middleton
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