A few weeks ago I attended Educause, a conference that encapsulates the best thinking in higher education IT. A highlight for me was participating in a session focused on seeking evidence of the impact of learning space design.
The majority of the session was spent in small group discussion focusing on this question: What evidence do we have that change and innovation are having the impact we hope for? Given the investments colleges and universities are making in their learning spaces, it’s a question that requires an answer. Collectively the participants established the need for complimentary quantitative and qualitative data with the type of data being highly dependent on the situation.
Two of the people in my discussion group represented schools that have participated in Herman Miller’s Learning Studio Research Pilot program: Butler Community College and Estrella Mountain Community College. The pilot program provides the opportunity for schools to test new learning spaces and evaluate the results before making a significant commitment within an entire building. For both schools, the results of the pilot have been significant, from both a quantitative and qualitative standpoint.