On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, GC3, LOTH, Inc., Steelcase Education and Xavier University teamed up to present a half-day educational workshop titled “Rethinking Teaching and Learning: A Collaborative Approach”. A cross-section of attendees from all areas of the institution including Academic and Student Affairs, Library, Facilities, Design, IT, and faculty. Over 90 faculty and staff from the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Xavier University, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Mount St. Joseph University, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Christian University, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Gateway Community and Technical College participated.
Experts from Steelcase Education shared research and discussed how to improve learning and teaching by planning for new or renovating current learning spaces.
Adam Kocher, Vice President of Sales for LOTH said, “It was wonderful to have a forum in which leaders in higher education from across the region came together to engage in a variety of thought-provoking workshops. Discussions focused on how the built environment can increase student success and the significance each stakeholder can play in the process.”
Jeff Klemens, a professor from Thomas Jefferson University, began with an overview of the process for updating campus learning spaces. He moved into a “Meet the Stakeholders” activity, a scenario-based role-playing game exploring multiple stakeholders’ viewpoints, concerns, and agendas throughout the process of a campus’ learning space initiative. The outcome being to drive home the idea of involving all stakeholders from the outset and not towards the end of the process.
Participants attended one of two breakout sessions. Kathy Waterman and Malena Montoya, Steelcase Application Specialists, led a group exercise illustrating designing active learning spaces including areas where students collaborate and study. These classroom designs illustrate “out of the box” ideas and move away from the traditional setting desks in rows and a lectern at the front of the room. Participants utilized a creative, new hands-on tool to create learning spaces able to transition from lecture mode to teamwork to group presentation, discussion and back again.
Mark DeNapoli, Director of Steelcase Sales Operations, led a group activity in which participants identified the key skillsets students need as they enter the workforce. He also introduced Steelcase’s Learning Environment Evaluation Tool used with learning institutions to measures the effectiveness of changes made to learning spaces to drive student success. This tool collects data from pre-and-post installation surveys completed by students and faculty including a summary report.
In the final session, Marisa Sergnese, Steelcase Leader of Training Initiatives, facilitated an Active Learning Ecosystem Workshop. This workshop explored the impact of active learning on formal learning spaces and helps learning institutions define a direction for moving forward. A cross-functional team from each institution identified
opportunities to increase active learning though pedagogy, technology and space. Together they explored challenges and opportunities in transitioning from the traditional classroom environment to more active learning spaces.
Janet R. Piccirillo, Executive Director of GC3 commented, “Rethinking Teaching and Learning Spaces: A Collaborative Approach exemplifies collaboration on many levels. First, it shows the impact business and higher education can have when they work together to achieve a goal, in this case how something as simple as ways seating can affect how a teacher teaches and a student learns. Secondly, it brought together the various stakeholders throughout the college or university allowing them to work cooperatively to discuss space issues. Attendees left with the ability to improve teaching and learning in their classroom, college, or university and an understanding how important it is to involve all stakeholders from the start.”
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