The Extended Classroom: Responding to the Changes and Challenges


This is my presentation for a design workshop at the University of Warwick, involving architects, the Learning and Development Centre (LDC), the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL), the Students’ Union, audio-visual services, Estates, Library and Academic Technology.

The point about ubiquitous computing being ubiquitous in everyday life, but still quite a challenge in university spaces, was reinforced by me having to physically plug my iPad into the projector using a very short VGA cable! Fun, but challenging. I used it to illustrate how, for many people today, the transition between working at home (with Apple TV etc) and operating in a university space, feels “jarring”.

The workshop covered a lot of ground, including the necessity of old fashioned blackboards. Good to hear that we’re not just thinking about official indoor teaching spaces. Warwick has always been a campus university, with teaching and learning happening in all kinds of places, especially outdoors in the summer. See this article by Sue Thomas for an intro to cyberparks. I’ve also added in a photo taken outside Senate House in the middle of the university, showing students using bean bags (on a sunny day) provided by the PGHub. An ad hoc library space.

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Ad hoc library with bean bags

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Dr Robert O'Toole NTF

Senior Teaching Fellow, Arts Faculty, University of Warwick. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, National Teaching Fellow, Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence.

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