Open learning space

This article is a reflection on the overall impression of higher education institutions abroad.

Olga Poklonskaya, Senior Lecturer, Department of Professional Development, School of Business of BSU, within the framework of the international project “INNOVATIVE ICT EDUCATION FOR SOCIAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”(IESED) project of the ERASMUS + program, visited De Monfort University in Leicester (UK). This article is a reflection on the overall impression of higher education institutions abroad.
The world has changed, and what has changed in education?
With the advent of computers first, and then tablets and smartphones, the way people work, communicate, develop, learning process has changed. And this aspect could not fail to leave an imprint on the requirements for the educational process in general and for the environment and equipment in particular. Conceptually, the transition to a post-industrial, informational style of education can be compared with the transition from a command management system to a democratic one.
The possibility of using information technology to organize continuous access to training materials 24 hours / 7 days a week in any place where there is Internet access; new pedagogical technologies such as the “inverted class”; research-based project training; and, most importantly, the organization of the educational process according to the needs of the student — all this requires another organization of the space of our classes.
After all, now the world has changed, but the desks remain! The traditional style "rows of desks" with the teacher at the head allows you to "sit and listen"; for group and project work, organization of space according to the “cluster groups” principle works better.
De Montfort University Experience
What did we see at De Montfort University in Leicester (UK)? Based on the needs of the student, not only in the classrooms, but also in the halls, the library organizes places for both individual and collective work. For example, this is the area for individual reading and self-preparation:
Cabins for small groups in the library and corridor of the academic building:
Equipped with all necessary separate cabins and cabinets for videoconferences with a mentor or expert:
There is a place to sit and discuss common projects in groups of different sizes in the lobby:
“When it comes to flexible classes, in most cases think of classrooms as places with furniture on casters ... But for a great learning space you have to consider acoustics, color, light, layout, materials, interactivity, graphics, inspiration, technology and much more.” (“Learning Environments for Tomorrow” course at the Harvard Graduate School of Education - Danish Kurani).
Open educational space is usually referred to as “learning style, including flexibility of space, the choice of students in the field of activity, diversity of teaching materials, integration of various learning areas, work individually and in small groups, not just large teams” (Psychological effects of the “Open Classroom ". Review of Educational Research, 49 (1), 71-85.)
Our experience
At School of Business, we are taking the first steps in this direction. This year the classroom is equipped with the ability to flexibly change the surrounding space: light chairs, mobile tables, portable bean bags, equipment for showing presentations, sockets for recharging your own mobile devices. In such a class, it is good to conduct classes in the study of foreign languages, psychology of management, and practical cases in HR-management.
Open educational space - change the style of teaching
Open space changes the style of communication with students. On the one hand, classroom interaction is proven to grow, on the other hand, students are becoming more responsible for their actions. But the teacher must consciously plan activities and the class as a whole is applicable to the room in which they are held.
The economic reasons, the conservatism inherent in education in general, do not make it easy to make the transition from the education model of the industrial age to the education model aimed at the learner. We do not know what we will teach students in 10 years, but we have to create an environment that allows us to do this qualitatively.
The environment of the classroom, the equipment should help to explore, experiment, comprehend, create, inspire, share experiences and communicate, present the results of students work.