As colleges and universities assess the changing landscape of higher education, careful consideration is given to both physical and virtual learning spaces. What will learning spaces look like at the University of Pittsburgh in the future?
Online undergraduate and graduate degrees are growing in popularity at many institutions. While Pitt’s online graduate programs are seeing growth in enrollments, Pitt has made a strong commitment to face-to-face undergraduate instruction. As a result, Pitt’s more than two hundred physical learning environments must serve and support teaching strategies now and in the future.
Through funding provided by the Office of the Provost, the University of Pittsburgh is currently constructing three innovative classrooms on the Oakland campus that may serve as models for future learning spaces at Pitt. Opening in the Fall of 2015, these sites will feature new technologies that enable students and instructors to use their own mobile devices to wirelessly and securely share documents, collaborate on projects, and display content in the rooms.
In contrast to many other active learning classrooms, these sites will have minimal technologies physically installed. Tables rather than desks encourage students and instructors to move throughout the space, accessing the expansive white board space. Surfaces will be free of keyboards, monitors, and controls. Furniture is height adjustable to ensure accessibility.
Pitt’s Classroom Management Team is already applying many of the features of these three rooms to the plans for campus learning spaces in the coming years.
Rendering by MacLachlan, Cornelius, & Filoni