- How might space and time be adapted to allow more scope for self- and peer-assessment, and for action to be taken on the back of that?
Space can also be modified to allow for self and peer assessment as well. Considering the physical arrangement of a space has an inherent learning theory underlying it then the physical space is important for determining an instructivist (rows of desks) versus a social constructivist (group desk hubs) approach. Peer assessment is a social group based activity so having a physical environment where students are facing each other in groups will support this pedagogy. Space design does effect student and teacher behaviour and having group hubs results in the teacher more likely to be more mobile therefore interacting with more students rather than staying at the front of the class room when desks are set in rows (Walker, Brooks, & Baepler, 2011).
In terms of action taken when a space is changed, in a study by Walker, Brooks, and Baepler (2011), it was found that trying to do a lecture style class in a group hub type learning space was difficult making it harder to engage with the material but making group work easier. I have personally found this with my own learning space that was changed from rows to group hubs a few weeks ago. There is a case here for flexible learning spaces where desks can easily and quickly by reconfigured. This is recognised as an ongoing challenge in the design of new educational infrastructure the publication of “Infrastructure NSW, 2014 State infrastructure Strategy Update” where is states: “Future-focused learning spaces – designing classrooms to allow a variety of teaching and learning practices, with a focus on innovative uses of technology and space” (page 100).
Self and peer assessment is very much a formative method of learning where students need to be taught how to do this through scaffolding. This allows students to produce at a level above what they otherwise could have alone reaching their ‘zone of proximal development (Loftus & Higgs, 2005).
Obviously that this debacle could have done more with was a prototyping iterative approach such as that suggested by Paul Monaghan, former chair of Cabe’s education design review panel (Klettner, 2013). Noise levels in classroom is not only important for student learning but also for welfare of students and teachers. In a study done by Tiesler and Oberdorster (2008), refurbishing a classroom to change its reverberation time from 0.7s to 0.4s changed the working pulse of a teacher below 90bpm from 60% of the time to 82.5% of the time. This showed that the stress levels of the teacher was reduced in a classroom whose noise level was reduced 5 to 10dB.
- How might a prototyping culture affect the way we conceive of the school day, of time and physical space, and the role of learning?
- How might a prototyping culture inform the way we work with those involved in a school design process? How might we prevent people jumping to the final version of their ideas on day one?
Below are the materials needed followed by a video outlining the process.