Trends in Higher Education Learning Spaces Identified in Herman Miller and SCUP 2009 Survey Results
July 16, 2009
Changes in learning paradigms and pedagogy surpassed student expectations as the most influential factor driving new learning space needs on campus, according to higher education planning professionals in a March 2009 survey. It is the third survey produced by Herman Miller, Inc., and the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) to identify trends affecting higher education learning spaces.
The survey results will be the focus of a presentation led by Jeff Vredevoogd of Herman Miller's Education Solutions team at the 2009 SCUP conference in Portland, Oregon, July 18-22, 2009.
According to Vredevoogd, higher education institutions are realizing that they can no longer rely on preparing the students of tomorrow with yesterday's teaching methods and learning spaces.
"There is a connection between teaching, learning and space," he says. "The best learning spaces, however, require an understanding of stakeholders, types of pedagogy that will occur in the space and a careful, regular review of its key characteristics. These steps, together with the support of leadership for a variety of teaching and learning styles, will best equip students and faculty."
In addition, the most important measure of an effective learning space, according to 41 percent of respondents, is its range of flexibility or the number and types of learning activities that can occur within the space.
"There also is a focus on physical measures of either environmental quality or utilization statistics," adds Phyllis Grummon, Ph.D., director of Planning and Education for SCUP.
Only 21 percent of survey respondents, however, are required to measure the results of new or renovated learning spaces. As 58 percent of respondents are experiencing new construction and renovation on campus, Vredevoogd admits that without effective measurement of learning spaces, campuses risk losing the opportunity to enable and enhance the teaching and learning experience both for students and faculty.
"As higher education leadership rethink or evolve their approach to learning spaces on campus, especially when it includes a significant investment in new construction or a renovation, they need to do more than to make the space look aesthetically fresh. It's important to consider the impact of several factors, including changes in pedagogy and technology, in the long-term view of possibilities for the space," he says.
For a complete report of survey results, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2009 SCUP Web-based survey was conducted in March 2009. It is based on a previous survey conducted by SCUP and Herman Miller, Inc., for the 2008 SCUP conference and the 2006 Campus of the Future conference, sponsored by SCUP, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and APPA, also known as the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. Additional questions and possible answers were added to the survey.
Announcements about the availability of the survey were included in a variety of SCUP electronic newsletters, e-mail lists, and personal contacts.
Out of 108 respondents, 90 percent represent higher education administration or carry responsibility for facility construction, design, renovation, and space management. Eight percent of respondents include those from other professional roles.
Survey respondents average approximately 13 years in higher education planning. The majority of the respondents represent four-year, public institutions that enroll 15,000-24,999 students a year.
About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $1.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2009. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2009, Herman Miller was again cited by FORTUNE as both the "Most Admired" in its industry and among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America, while Fast Company named Herman Miller among the innovative "Companies to Watch." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.
About the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
SCUP provides knowledge and resources on best planning practices for higher education, with a particular focus on academic, facilities, infrastructural, financial, and resource planning. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and affiliated with the University of Michigan School of Education.