I was visiting an old friend of mine today and her very able and articulate16 year old granddaughter was there.
I was asking her about school in general when she told me that a new science block had just been built, this being her interest.
Naturally I asked what it was like and I surprised that she replied 'rubbish'.
This is a list of the things she said was wrong. She had no idea that tlearning space design is something I am interested in.
1) The room is too long
2) We can't see the board or what is being written when further than half way down the room.
3) We have to stand up to see over the heads of those in front.
4) The teacher has to request that students move to the front in order to see\ hear what is going on then they have no desk.
5) The chairs are higher than normal but the desks are normal height which results in bending over a lot and getting back a ache.
6) There was no use of technology to assist with these problems
Her final comment was on the money 'if they had asked us (students) in the first place we could have told them what does and does not work'.
It is obvious from what Becky told me that little thought, and no consultation with the users, had gone into this science block, even the teachers are complaining.
Same old story!
What amazes and frustrates me is that when speaking to most people about design of anything they agree that consultation and input from those who are the intended users is essential. Why is it then that this rarely occurs?