College Planning & Management

JUN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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PHOTO © JUSTIN MACONOCHIE Commons is engineered to meet the unique habits and learning needs of today's students. The café will provide opportunities for spontaneous collaboration as well as space for students to take a break from their work," says James Moyer, associate vice president for facilities planning, GVSU. DO DO understand one size doesn't ft all. By incorporating spaces of varying size, scale, visibility, and technology, users are able to choose the space that works for them. Flexible elements were incorporated throughout Sangren Hall and informal learning opportunities for groups of two to 20 were integrated into the building circulation. Banquette seating featuring embedded technology is placed throughout and all corridors incorporate a playful notion of seating with both small and large group confgurations. For students who prefer a quieter environment, enclosed rooms on the frst and fourth foors can be utilized by small groups or for individual study. "We predict that every student who graduates from WMU with a four-year degree will have had at least one class at Sangren Hall. Thus, it was critical that the facility include spaces to meet the needs of every WMU student, no matter their major, study habits, or learning needs," says Peter Strazdas, associate vice president, facilities management, WMU. DON'T DON'T limit fexibility and fuidity — encourage it. Mobile furniture and different types of furniture allow users to reconfgure a space depending on their uses and preferences. Furniture should support both social and 20 PHOTO © PAUL BARDAGJY academic uses, student/student interaction, and student/faculty interaction. A current trend in higher education is the breakdown of faculty to student hierarchy, moving from the "sage on the stage" to more "guide on the side." Furniture is one way to support the more approachable nature of the relationship by providing more casual settings for students and faculty to interact. DO DO hide in plain sight. Collaborative spaces should provide a sense of limited privacy and separation while still allowing a view out. Furthermore, overly enclosed spaces provide opportunities for mischief. At Jackson Community College's (JCC) Health Laboratory Center in Jackson, MI, SHW Group located curved glass breakout spaces along hallways. The glass walls provide a sense of privacy for users without completely disconnecting them from the rest of the building. For students working on raw information, plasma screens that face away from the main circulation provide privacy. "We wanted the Health Lab to have spaces that felt connected, yet separate. Utilizing glass for transparency wherever possible promotes a sense of togetherness and showcases the intellectual pursuit of knowledge within the space," says Daniel J. Phelan, president, JCC. DON'T DON'T shhh. People will self-regulate and fnd areas that align with their noiselevel needs. One way to signal appropriate noise levels is by incorporating visual cues that trigger appropriate behaviors. Varying degrees of quiet and active spaces were incorporated into GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library, Learning and COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JUNE 2013 Information Commons and utilized the books themselves to signal quiet zones. Books are housed on the east side of the building, offering spaces for quiet study, while the furniture on the west is more team-based to promote active learning. DO DO provide technology-rich spaces, but not for only one use. Both high-tech tools that support collaboration and low-tech tools like whiteboards should be incorporated in order to meet a range of needs and used to complement one another. Providing surfaces on which students can scribble is important, and is leveraged by the fact that they can take a photo of the work, make a PDF, and send it to the whole group. DON'T Strategically locating collaborative technology is important. DON'T litter walls with plasma screens. Often they will go unused. And, more importantly, DON'T assume students know how to use the technology. Even tech-savvy people sometimes need help understanding new technologies. DO DO understand the power of collaborative spaces as a recruitment/retention tool. At Angelo State University's Porter Henderson Library Learning Commons in San Angelo, TX, a traditional campus library was renovated, resulting in a learning, information, and student resource center, making it a campus destination. During the visioning process, it was discovered that most students sought offcampus destinations for collaboration. The renovated facility is designed to encourage www.Planning 4education.com

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