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25th November 2009, 11:28am
Making working spaces work - can academics shape the classrooms of the future?
Discussing building designs The contribution academics can make to the design and development of effective university teaching spaces will be explored in a national conference at the University of Lincoln.

The conference, Learning Landscapes: Making Working Spaces Work, will take place at Lincoln's main Brayford Pool campus on Friday 4 December.

Delegates will look at ways in which academics and support staff can better work together to improve teaching and learning spaces everywhere from lecture theatres to sports halls. They will also consider the link between universities' virtual learning resources and their physical infrastructure.

The conference is part of the Learning Landscapes in Higher Education project - a national research programme led by the University of Lincoln in partnership with 11 major British universities. The project, launched in 2007, is funded with almost 300,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

The conference, the third annual staff and student conference to be held at Lincoln, will include a report on the project findings so far with input during the day from participating universities.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Diana Laurillard, Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies in the Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy at the Institute of Education in London.

The conference will feature a presentation on the University of Lincoln's innovative National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach, the plans to redevelop the Human Performance Centre and the new Business and Law School. A key feature of the presentation is the way in which academics and support staff worked together to design these different spaces.

Conference organiser and Learning Landscapes Project Director, Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Lincoln, said: "Learning Landscapes is about incorporating the academic voice into the design of the university built environment. It is about designing the university estate in ways that go beyond simple efficiencies of space management.
"The project aims to promote real innovation by engaging academics through their subject disciplines in the design of teaching and learning spaces, ensuring that the design process is informed by research into effective teaching processes."

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