A Visual Report: The LSC Workshop at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 2013


Seventy academics and architects spent a Saturday in the UMass Amherst Learning Center, in an ideal space for a hands-on LSC workshop. The agenda was structured around key planning questions, about learning, learning experiences and learning spaces. The approach was to involve participants in team-based learning (TBL).

Hosts Sarah Hutton and Robert C. Davis introduced participants to the particular spatial affordances, including round tables with technologies that capture work-in-progress discussions explored on whiteboards that can be shared visually to all in the room. A workshop resource was a paper they had authored with their colleague Carol Will, Team-Based Ingenuity Supporting 21st Century Learners.

The opening plenary featured Glenn Caffery (Department of Resource Economics) engaging participants in a TBL experience - an activity to allow you to experience the TBL room for yourself.  What you see and what you don’t see. Of special interest was his insight that it took less time for students than it took for him to adjust to the style of learning and teaching in this innovative space.

The sequence of at-the-table discussions began by exploring the question of what our students are to become, followed by questions about what kind of learning experiences enable that becoming.

With the assistance of participating architects, table groups spent the afternoon preparing graphic illustrations of spaces that accommodate desired learning experiences. Reporting out on the work of each table and comments about the 'aha' ideas that surfaced during the workshop concluded the day.