Learning in higher education is becoming less a practice in memorization and regurgitation, and more an active, collaborative, and social process. As a result, a new way of viewing university and college campuses is emerging.
Driven by technology and social networks, the current generation of learners is creating an academic experience that is different than even a few years ago. “Circles of exchange” begins to explain this trend. Campuses are increasingly becoming large networks made up of individual student networks. As students connect with one another, the flow and diversity of information is strengthened, more ideas are shared, more knowledge is developed, and the potential for innovation increases.
The physical environment has a role in this. A thoughtfully designed learning space can be place for students to gather, collaborate, socialize, and exchange ideas. The creation of these spaces requires a better understanding of how and why people learn, the effect of ever greater sources of information, opportunities to customize learning experiences, and anticipation and accommodation of technological change. When understanding about these elements is brought to the design process, the campus will better support the needs of students.