This week I led the #LTHEchat and I have spent the best part of my Saturday reviewing what everyone said. It was that valuable. Thanks.
There are some key themes that came out of the chat.
As usual, when you ask people where they learn best it is rare they tell you about classrooms, lecture theatres or even institutionally provided spaces (admittedly this audience was not primarily made up of students). Equally, they do not tend to refer to other spaces by using recognisable characteristics of familiar formal spaces. Nobody suggested they preferred to be lectured at. Instead, there were common themes and anecdotes about learning outside, while walking, at home or in homely environments (e.g. cushions).
There was some discussion about offices. How people like to personalise them and have a door they can close, but also one they can keep open and inviting. Time of day came up too: either early or late in the day.
It became apparently that ‘learning’ is an inadequate word for a discussion like this. Different learning purposes or phases are critical to understanding learning space: people tended to gravitate towards the idea of learning as being a reflective matter and this is when ideas about home, gardens, woods, walking and being outside were raised.
There was also discussion about more active forms of learning and spaces.
The discussion moved towards social media as a learning space, by which point there was little need for any debate on the legitimacy of social media as an effective and appropriate conceptualisation of space. This was to be expected given this group (the #LTHEchat network).
The final question was about conceptualisations of future learning space. I was expecting more people to pick up on the idea of hybrid space. They didn’t though. With one or two exceptions, I think people were focused on a provided and constructed idea of learning space rather than a shift towards heutagogy and self-determined or self-constructed notions of space. This is to be expected as we tend to refer to what we know in the context of what we do – imagining a future that does not have our metaphorical seat firmly planted in the centre of the vision is difficult.
Next time, we should start with a vision: you no longer have a role in higher education. Why not?!
Great to be back in the #LTHEchat after several months. It just shows how hard I have been working on other things. But when it returns in May I really hope to tune in more.