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Learning Spaces

Wed, August 08, 2012 4:48 PM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)
What does your preferred learning space look like? Is it rows of desks with the trainer at the front? Could it be a comfy chair and your computer? With the growth of communication and collaboration technologies, the traditional learning space is getting a makeover.

In the olden days, the traditional classroom was rows of desks and chairs facing the front of the room where there was chalkboard or whiteboard and the trainer at the front. In recent years, the physical learning space has changed to have chairs around tables to form pods to allow for collaboration among learners. Many have adopted this new model of peer-to-peer learning or team learning.

Learner expectations have grown with technology and are now influencing our learning spaces.
Today, not all learning spaces are physical. A virtual meeting room, such as Adobe Connect or Skype, can be considered a learning space.

There are many options to the virtual learning space. Some more popular ones include Cisco WebEx, Zoho Meetings, GoTo Meeting, Skype and Adobe Connect. There are varying costs, equipment and setup required for each. Some can record your meeting for playback later, usually at a cost. But before you make a decision on which one to choose, you need to consider how and why you’ll be using it, and how much you want to invest.

Training in a physical learning space is very different from training in a virtual one. You cannot just take face-to-face training and do the same in the virtual space. According to Bryan Chapman of the Chapman Alliance, it takes approximately 79 hours to create one hour of e-learning (read the study here) whereas it takes approximately 43 hours to create one hour of instructor-led training. You also need to take the time to set up an easy-to-use, yet friendly, environment. Some of this may be done for you based on the service you use, but other require a lot of customization.

If you really want to learn more about learning spaces, you may want to read Learning Spaces on the EDUCAUSE web site. The printed book is available through Amazon.com. The web site offer numerous case studies that illustrate the principles discussed.
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