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Designing Campus Learning Spaces

A new report released by the University of Washington Learning and Scholarly Technologies revealed many new insights in to how students use technology on campus. The report contains data gathered from over 3,200 students in  Autumn quarter and was comprised of survey questions as well as a focus group test.

The responses from the survey showed that while many students did use technology frequently off-campus, there were a number of impediments that needs to be addressed to help encourage technology use on campus. Nearly 93% of survey respondents said that they owned a laptop however only 35% of the respondents said they brought them on campus.

Many of the respondents said that they would like to see improvements to the campus environment that would better support their technology needs before bringing equipment on campus. Such improvements include more electrical outlets to charge laptops, quiet areas to work without distraction, evening access, and comfortable furniture.

Based on these findings, LST made recommendations to the campus community for designing campus learning spaces that consisted of providing general access to computers and equipment, minimize obstructions to laptop use, provide access to printing, establish and/or enhance collaboration areas, enhance aesthetics of learning spaces and study areas, and to further involve students in all stages of campus design.

You can read the full report about designing campus learning spaces including examples of good design as well as more information about how design can impact student learning at http://www.washington.edu/lst/research_development/papers/2010/Designing_Campus_Learning_Spaces.pdf

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