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Why Focus on Learning Spaces

Why Focus on Learning Spaces

“We want to create learning spaces that engage the whole student and foster collaborative, critical, and creative thinking and learning”

Form and Function

When you walk into a grand opera hall, or beautiful gothic style cathedral, you immediately have a sense of the purpose of that space. You know, generally, what you can expect to have happen there. Suppose then that someone decided to use an opera house for a monster truck rally. While the acoustics might be great, the space in general would be a terrible location. It wasn’t designed for that type of activity.

This principle also applies to our classrooms. We want to engage students in thought, in critical exploration, in a grappling with ideas. We want them to work collaboratively with faculty and with each other. To dig deep and seek out the truth and the meaning of a thing. And yet, when you walk into so many classrooms, they give more of a sense of the gothic cathedral than a place of collaboration and exploration. And while cathedrals are beautiful, they tend to be places where one person speaks, and the rest remain silent and passive.

We in Library and Academic Technology (LAT), and the broader campus as well, don’t want a future generation of passive listeners. We want to grow students into leaders, thinkers, collaborators, and problem-solvers. We want our students to be doers. And so, one of the goals of LAT is to come alongside faculty and students and develop learning spaces that excite, spaces that encourage exploration, and spaces that allow faculty and students to work together in a way that will make the next generation of great thinkers and leaders. 

Please explore this site and come on this exciting journey with us. If you have questions or ideas, please email Nancy Cross at or call extension 7167.