Design Features for Project-Based Learning
Section 10 | return to introduction and contents 

Table 1

Category Title of the
Feature

Description of the Feature

Purpose or the Feature
Group Size Variable sized spaces Areas that are easily and quickly changed moment to moment, day to day, and may support several learning activities within the same space. Provides for multiple purposes and different sized groups. Encourages and supports integration of courses and programs through sharing of space and equipment.
Individual work spaces Space for an individual to personalize and in which to work and study Provides sense of ownership and teaches responsibility for one's own learning.
Faculty team spaces Individual or team spaces for faculty that has adjacent material preparation areas and meeting space. Encourages team teaching, mentoring of other faculty, integrated planning, and informal discussions.
Functional Spaces for Learning Activities Focus laboratory spaces Areas to support learning activities requiring specialized equipment or furnishings (e.g., science, technology, art, music, dance, fabrication, trouble-shooting). Provides space and infrastructure to develop and practice specialized skills. Brings relevancy  work, family, and community to the
Classroom spaces Area in which to provide direct instruction of concepts, content, and skills. Often is a space that does not require specialized equipment or infrastructure. Supports the learning process by bringing a group of learners together to focus on specific content and for group discussion.
Presentation spaces Places for individuals or teams to demonstrate and perform. Gives opportunity to practice, share acquired skills and knowledge with learners, staff, and the public, and receive feedback.

 

Category Title of the
Feature

Description of the Feature

Purpose or the Feature

Functional Spaces for Learning Activities (cont.)

Practice spaces Open or specialized areas with or without needed equipment to practice new skills (e.g., theatres, gymnasiums, music rooms, and dance floors). Supports the acquisition of skills by providing space and needed tools or equipment to increase efficiency and sufficiency.
Process galleries, studios, and display spaces Places and furnishings to display work in progress or completed projects (e.g., white boards, tack boards, display cases, studios). Supports and shares learning process by showcasing concept development, learning activities, development process, and finished products and services.
Project space Space that provides a variety of work surfaces, cabinets for supplies, storage areas for projects in the development stage, access to tools and technology, specialized lighting, and other infrastructure such as Provides space to produce information, services, or products. Encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork.
Home base Gathering place for learners and faculty. Provides a common space to start a learning activity, seek assistance and resources, share ideas, and hold group discussions.
Informal learning spaces Non-classroom spaces (e.g., hallways, eating areas, study spaces, lounges, and outdoor spaces). Provides spaces for socializing, informal gathering, and serendipitous meetings that often foster creative thought and solutions to problems.
Collaboration incubator Idea generation space, team meeting space, access to technology and other resources, and display space for models and ideas. Support creativity, idea generation, teamwork, and prototyping of concepts. Encourages involvement of local employers in the development of projects.

 

Category Title of the
Feature

Description of the Feature

Purpose or the Feature
Adjacencies Access to community Consortia of community agencies, businesses, and learning institutions providing educational opportunities. Creates a learning system that provides resources in the forms of curriculum, assessment, space, materials, personnel, and funding. Brings relevancy to the learning.
Adjacent and nested spaces Related spaces in proximity of one another. Supports integration of learning, people, and support services.
Visibility Exterior windows, interior window walls, and open learning areas. Invites participation in the learning activities by bringing processes and projects into view.
Connections among people and spaces Physical and visual links and movement patterns between interior and exterior spaces and among learners, family, and community. Sometimes referred to as streets or pathways. Provides connection with others, encourages integration of activities, invites broad participation in the learning process, and movement of learning projects among functional support areas.
Resource, supply, and storage spaces Casements and space within or adjacent to the learning activities spaces to provide resources, store supplies for classroom projects, tools, learning products, and materials. Provides ready access to needed supplies, tools, and storage for learning projects.
Space and furnishings for technology Desks, tables, and casements for technology (e.g., computers, printers, scanners, copier, telephone, facsimile, video/audio equipment, tools, text resources, research assistance). Supports research and gathering of information, preparation and delivery of learning materials, and supports skill development in using technology.

 

Category Title of the
Feature

Description of the Feature

Purpose or the Feature
Furnishings Spaces with versatile furnishings

Moveable furniture and casements, folding walls, track lighting, multiple technologies, various sized and shaped work surfaces, and comfortable seating.

 

Provides flexibility in how space can be used to support a wide variety of learning activities (e.g., development of information, services, or products. Allows users to shape learning environment.
Display spaces White boards, black boards, tack surfaces, and show cases. Provides places to show ideas, work-in-progress, and finished products
Spaces with variable lighting All purpose, general, soft and inviting, adjustable, track lighting, task lighting, and light tables. Provides specific type of lighting needed for different learning activities. Adjusts in intensity, focus, and location.

Psychological/
Physiological
Support

Spaces that provide sense of belonging, ownership, and pride Learning environment that evokes a sense of belonging and identity. Encourages desire to take responsibility for the use and maintenance of the physical environment. Provokes higher interest in learning.
Spaces with access to food and beverage Cafes, coffee and snack carts, cafeterias, or dining rooms. Supports different learning time frames and  informal learning activities by providing something to eat and drink when it is convenient to the learner.
"Get away" spaces Lounge areas, small study rooms, and outdoor seating to get away from formal learning activities. Supports need for rest, relaxation, and reflection.
Zoned spaces Attributes of the physical environment that encourage behavior and use of space (e.g., private or public). Gives users and visitors cues for expected activities and services.

 

Category Title of the
Feature

Description of the Feature

Purpose or the Feature

Psychological/
Physiological
Support
(continued)

Caves Quiet spaces for individuals. Provides quiet place for work, study, reflection, or rest.
Natural light Daylighting provided by exterior and interior windows. Increases learning performance through improved psychological and physiological functioning.
Spaces for transportation support Bicycle parking, bus shelters, loading areas, and parking. Supports movement of learners and projects.
Structural Aspects Flexible spaces Areas that easily and quickly change learning spaces moment to moment, day to day, or support several learning activities within the same space. Provides for multiple purposes and different sized groups. Encourages and supports integration of courses and programs through the sharing of space and equipment.
Spaces with visible infrastructure Exposed building infrastructure (e.g., ceiling beams, plumbing, disposal, heating/air conditioning systems). Involves the building structure as a learning tool.
Adaptable spaces Alteration or change in form or structure of areas to fit new use. Larger infrastructure and space changes that take more effort and time than flexible places. Concept of looking to future change and designing the structure for alteration to meet new uses. Enables renovation of structure and infrastructure with less cost and time.
Layered spaces Determination of what should be built and provided for in the built environment. Areas incrementally developed as uses are identified. Creates options and guidelines for what to build and when to build. Allows for users to define and design spaces suited to their needs and the activities occurring.

 

Category Title of the
Feature

Description of the Feature

Purpose or the Feature

Structural Aspects (continued)

 

Spaces with durable building materials and finishes Composition of and finishes for flooring, work surfaces, and furnishings that withstands active and frequent use. Allows spaces to be used for planned activities with less concern about damage to and prolonging the life of  space or features.
Spaces with core or fixed-elements Framework and basic elements of the physical learning environment (e.g., walls, floors, stairs, elevators, windows, plumbing, disposal, and electrical). Provides basic structure and infrastructure for learning that can be "finished" by the user according the activities and needs.

 

< previous | February 2002 | designshare.com | next >