Here is a listing of past and current New Learning Spaces funded projects at RMIT:
Current RMIT LENS projects
Vice-Chancellor funded Learning Environments and New Spaces Research Network project.
Past RMIT LENS projects
RMIT Learning and Teaching Investment Fund (LTIF) funded projects 2012
Evaluating the Impact of Learning Spaces on the Student Learning Experience: Providing Evidence to Guide Design, Investment and Professional Development
Dr Anthony Bedford
This LTIF project set out to capture students’ opinions of the changing learning spaces at RMIT. This project aimed to investigate student attitudes towards, perceptions of, and reactions to, specific new RMIT learning spaces, and provide a foundational knowledge of student requirements for learning and study spaces.
The project quickly became known as the Rate Your Space project, with a campaign encompassing posters plastered all around Melbourne, Brunswick and Bundoora campuses, and e-publicity asking students to take photos of their favourite learning space. This was the first phase of the project, with the researchers aiming to determine the types of spaces students feel represents their best learning space.
Construction Hazard Identification Laboratory: A game for experimental learning about construction OH&S
Safety in the construction industry is important because people continue to be injured on construction sites. To address this, the Australian construction industry and its regulator, the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, have required that anyone who intends to work on a construction site must complete an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) construction induction (CI) training course.
A key challenge for OH&S training is to engage learners. One quite complex section of the construction induction training deals with the identification of hazards and the management of hazards through OH&S controls. To engage learners with the OH&S content and to support deep learning, this project developed an electronic game in consultation with experts in games, OH&S and construction. The game was used as a classroom activity for the construction induction (CI) training course. The game was designed to provide students with a safe but also engaging environment in which students could actively identify the most common hazards encountered on construction sites, and experiment by applying different OH&S controls without experiencing physical repercussions themselves. The game was developed for the iPad which provided an intuitive and accessible touch interface but also a mobile platform that can be handed out to students in a classroom setting.
Learning and Teaching in the Swanston Academic Building
The purpose of the SAB PD Program was to facilitate a smooth transition of academic and teaching staff in the College of Business to the SAB learning spaces in order to maximise the potential of their innovative design. Many of the learning spaces in the SAB extended the learning and teaching possibilities then available to the College of Business. The challenge faced by the ADG team was to provide opportunities for teaching staff to develop understanding and skills so that they and their students gained maximum benefit from the use of these settings.
"Changing Spaces" – Peer-led networks to connect people/spaces/technology
RMIT has made significant investments in learning spaces and technology infrastructure in recent years. This investment has challenged staff and students to develop learning and teaching models that embrace the advantages of such spaces and technology, to ultimately transform the student experience. This is particularly urgent in SEH as the industry workplaces demand greater knowledge and use of technologically-led solutions by graduates. This urgency has required creative solutions to staff development and professional practice (Cox, 2009).
There is significant learning and teaching evidence that peer-led support, dissemination and exchange can improve outcomes for students (Radcliffe et al, 2008). This project has been scaffolded upon the concept of long-term sustainability of good teaching practice. It has recognised the movement/turnover of the teaching staff and the involvement of various age groups of staff.
RMIT Learning and Teaching Investment Fund (LTIF) funded projects 2011
Project lead: Associate Professor Johan Du Plessis
Several new courses were taught within the Physics TEALE spaces for the first time in 2011. This project was undertaken to support the changes that had to be made in teaching methods, learning materials and to establish at least some pointers to the best practice of teaching a very traditional and formal science such as Physics in a modern space.
More about the TEALE project
Professional Learning Networks
Project lead: Mr Peter Muir
RMIT has made a significant investment in the development and refurbishment of formal teaching spaces and e-learning systems. This investment offers teaching staff the opportunity to design and deliver curricula in new and creative ways. For Learning and Teaching support functions the challenge is to ensure teaching staff have the confidence and capability to use these physical and virtual learning environments to produce tangible and sustainable improvements in student experience, improved learning outcomes and higher levels of student satisfaction. This pilot study focussed on the teaching practices of three academic staff delivering courses in separate newly (re)developed technology intensive teaching spaces. Class observations and interviews were used to understand the way that teaching space, e-learning technologies and the orientations of staff and students to learning impacted on the qualities of the learning environment. As an outcome of the project, the teaching staff have been provided with a report outlining a range of possible ‘entry points’ from which they can develop strategies to improve their teaching practice. Guided by the principles of action research, these reports are designed to assist each staff member to improve the student learning experience in the next (and subsequent) cycles of course delivery.
More about Professional Learning Networks
RMIT Learning and Teaching Investment Fund (LTIF) funded projects 2010
The Lectorial project
Project lead: Professor Barbara de la Harpe
The aim of the 2010 LTIF “Lectorial” project was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing the Lectorial approach - a large class, collaborative and interactive, enquiry-based learning approach - in new generation learning spaces in the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT. Traditionally large classes are taught through lecture, often followed by small tutorial/seminar. Generally, large lectures are teacher centred and didactic, with students passive recipients of information, resulting in low levels of engagement and superficial approaches to learning. Literature indicates that shifting the emphasis to active student-centred learning has significant outcomes in terms of increasing student engagement, problem solving ability and positive learning outcomes.
More about The Lectorial project