Educational environments play a pivotal role in learning. Not only do they influence teachers, but they also affect students. The right learning environment can help to improve students’ behaviour and their capacity for learning.
Creating a successful learning environment that keeps up with modern designs and trends is essential for developing an effective learning space. Gone are the days of monotonous rows of desks. Modern classrooms and teachers require much more collaborative and experimental approaches with unique learning spaces.
Whether you are looking to revamp and refurb an existing school space or are in the process of building a new facility, the learning space design and layout is paramount for learning and teaching success. To help, we’ve covered 7 steps to creating a successful modern learning space.
What is a modern learning environment?
It seems education and learning curriculums are ever-changing and evolving. Yet many classrooms and learning spaces have stayed traditional in their design and layout. This can be detrimental, as modern learning requires a much more collaborative and engaging environment.
A modern learning environment helps provide the foundation for both teacher and student success, and there are certain characteristics that can help with this, including:
- Interactive technology, such as interactive whiteboards
- Flexible seating arrangements
- A layout conducive to collaboration and teamwork
- Lesson plans revolved around collaborative or conversational efforts
- A positive culture that enriches creativity and curiosity
- Group and pair work
However, for a modern learning environment to be successful, it must be carefully designed and planned. With a modern classroom, students of all learning styles can benefit, unlike traditional classrooms that only benefit visual and auditory learners.
No matter how students learn best, a modern learning environment will ensure that their needs are met when it comes to learning. So, what’s the secret to developing an effective modern learning space? Following these 7 steps will help you achieve top marks!
1. The goal of the learning space
The very thing you should focus on in creating a successful modern learning space is the goal. When thinking about the goal, consider the purpose of the learning space, what it will look like, and what learning activities will take place.
Considering the skills, knowledge and experience the students will learn can help. Taking the time to think about and answer these questions will provide you with a solid foundation for the design, layout, and implementation of your learning space.
2. Room layout
The layout of the room is fundamental to a successful modern learning environment. Without the right layout, collaboration and teamwork will suffer. A successful modern learning space will use a collaborative arrangement, right down to the teacher’s desk.
There are lots of great furniture, fixtures, and equipment you can incorporate into a learning space that will encourage collaboration. Pods and large desks can be great additions to any modern learning space. Organising a room into distinct themes or orientations can also help.
3. Encourage creativity
How much a learning space encourages creativity can influence how successful the learning space is. Encouraging creativity in a modern classroom will help students learn better by seeking out solutions to problems and sparking creative ideas.
Encouraging students to ask questions and learn from mistakes will not only help creativity but also their learning. Even creating a dedicated space for students to submit questions and taking time to answer them will help in establishing an environment of creativity that allows students to experiment.
4. Adaptable and flexible
No successful modern learning space will stay the same. As students’ learning continues to evolve, curriculums update, and technology changes, you’ll need to ensure your learning space moves with the times. That’s why a successful modern learning space will be both adaptable and flexible.
A learning environment that is much more open to adaptability and flexibility will be much easier to update due to changing circumstances. A learning space won’t just be fixed to one configuration. Spaces will need to change and adapt according to a given teaching and learning situation.
5. Think of staff too
Teachers who foster a lead-by-example approach will help to promote learning as a positive experience. The learning space you provide for staff can enhance and improve their teaching methods, as research shows that modern learning spaces can positively impact how teachers teach.
When teachers have the space to collaborate and communicate with one another, this can have a positive outcome on learning experiences. A modern learning environment is all about trying new things. Providing staff with an area to share ideas helps to shape a successful modern learning environment.
6. Remove the front of the classroom
If you enter a classroom, can you see the front? A layout that removes the front of the classroom is another step you can take to help create a successful modern learning space.
No matter how interactive or engaging you make a classroom, using a front-facing layout can be detrimental if you want to encourage participation and interaction. A successful modern learning space will change traffic patterns to encourage teachers to circulate a room.
7. Include communal areas too
It’s important to focus on creating modern classroom environments that help to boost collaborative and engaging learning. But what about the other spaces students will use? Modern learning spaces stem beyond the four walls of a classroom.
Students will spend a lot of time inside spaces such as dining halls, study areas, libraries, and playgrounds. These spaces also play a crucial role in learning and development, and are key for developing social interaction and friendships.
These spaces should not only help encourage interaction but also provide an environment that helps students to relax and unwind. When looking for modern learning spaces, don’t forgo these crucial areas. Make sure you consider every space as a learning space.
A successful modern learning space is the pinnacle to ensuring teacher and student success. Considering the 7 steps above when designing new learning spaces, and this will help to ensure a learning environment that thrives on collaboration and creativity.
All images from Pinnacle Furniture