A Snapshot of the September 2016 LSC Webinar - Calibrating the Return of Investing in Active Learning Spaces: The Institutional Perspective

Investing in Integrated Planning

Oregon State University

The planning process ignited a campus-wide awareness and engagement in learning spaces, both physical and virtual. We moved from a project by project approach to planning to a continual assessment and discussion of learning environments. Some lessons learned:

  • The importance of remaining current on learning innovations at times—not just at the time of a major campus construction or change project.
  • Provide time for support staff and faculty to understand and capitalize on the potential of new spaces. If ongoing faculty engagement is important, create comfortable spaces for faculty to gather in different kinds of spaces to experiment with and test ideas.
    —John Greydanus, Director of Academic Technologies—Oregon State University


The LINC—Learning Innovation Center—project was transformative at OSU in many ways: At first, it seemed that we were merely building another building—we already had built eight of those in the past decade. But when it became clear that this was a general education building dedicated solely to teaching and learning, the game changed. This is the only building on campus designed to teach across the entire curriculum. Faculty and staff from all parts of the University came together on the project and that process led to a level of creativity and risk-taking that is unique in my 30 years here.
—Jon Dorbolo, Associate Director, Technology Across the Curriculum—Oregon State University

University of Maryland

Working together with folks in IT, classroom scheduling, classroom maintenance, we are creating a “Master Plan” that sets some common design and IT standards for renovation and new construction of learning spaces across campus. This will enable us to incrementally redesign spaces as opportunities and needs arise. This Master Plan will be based on what we learn when the St. John Center is in operation. This will give us some guidelines as we try out new furniture when opportunities present themselves. A Teaching Facilities Committee, which includes a mix of faculty, facilities staff, IT folks and representatives from the TLTC is advising the development of the Master Plan.
Hilary Gossett, Assistant Director of Academic Facilities—University of Maryland, College Park

All of this involves an engagement of the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC) on our campus (reinforcing the value of integrated planning). There are workshops and tours for faculty; we’ve created short instructional videos and designed follow-up surveys with involved faculty. The TLTC does not do direct educational research; it focus is on creating opportunities for faculty to explore and implement best practices in teaching. As we look to the future, our plan is that the TLTC to be a central resources for assessing the impact of these learning spaces on our faculty, as well as on our students. 
—Elizabeth J. Beise, Associate Provost, Academic Planning & Programs—University of Maryland, College Park