Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Quart into a Pint Pot

Regardless of the negative impact on the staff - student experience of designing learning environments that are over capacity this still seems to be a common error.

I spoke to two colleagues today at different universities that have recently had the same experience as me in that new learning environment projects they have been involved in are over capacity resulting in at best a compromise and worst a space that deos not deliver.

I think this is often the  a result of the practice of dividing the area of a space by an often arbitrary value per student. This method does not consider the pedagogic methods, other uses the space may be used for, the technology installed etc. It is ultimately a bums on seats exercise that often results in environments that are not fit for purpose.

The problem is how this practice is stopped with the pressure for space on campus and currently growing class sizes?

The only method I know of is to ensure that the capacity of the space is negotiated with all stakeholders early in the project. I would like to know what other methods for measuring capacity others use and, if a formula is used, what it is and if different formulae are used for differnet spaces?




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