Tue 2nd January 2018 - 10:56

Catch up on our discussion on learning spaces

On 30 January 2018 Open Education Europa (OEE) hosted an online discussion on the topic of learning spaces and how they can change teaching approaches.

The live chat session was organised as part of OEE’s January focus on learning spaces in open education and it was moderated by Dr Ebba Ossiannilsson. Dr Ossiannilsson is an expert in open online and flexible learning, as well as an OEE ambassador.

Have you ever set up a physical or virtual learning space? How can learning spaces change teaching approaches? What are the learning spaces of the next generation? These topics and more were discussed, read more and learn about your peers’ experiences from across Europe!

Visit this page on 30 January, from 12:00pm (noon) to 13:00pm CET. 

**Comments are now closed 


All Comments

Tue 30th January 2018 - 10:59

A warm welcome everyone to the Open Education Europa Online discussion on Innovative Learnig Spaces

My name is Ebba Ossiannilsson

I am an OEE Ambassador and OEE Fellow

..and my contact details are

Ossiannilsson, Quality in Open Online Learning (QOOL) Consultancy https://i4quality.se

[email protected] [email protected] @EbbaOssian


I am a quality reviewer for the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and for the European Association for Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).

Ossiannilsson is in the board for ICDE OER Advocacy Committee and Quality Network Europe. Is in the EC for the European Distance Education Network (EDEN), where she is ISO representative and even leader of the Special Interest Group on Technology Enabled Learning and Quality Enhancement.

I am the V President for the Swedish Association for Distance Education and for the Swedish Association for e-Competence, and also member of the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) Quality Committee

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:00

Two years in a row I have moderated and chaired the conf on Innovative learning Spaces by LUXATIA INTERNATIONAL

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:00

Welcome everybody to this #OEEchat! We are about to start with our moderator Ebba Ossiannilsson :) :)

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:01

Hi Ebba and Alex, looking forward to this discussion.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:02

Thanks Alex and Open Education Europa for your kind invitation and for letting me moderate ths session on Innovative Learning Spaces, which is a very hot topic and within my interest and research area. I am keen to discuss with you and to learn more from you

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:03

Hi Everybody.

John Augeri from Paris Ile-de-France Digital University.

I'm currently conducting an international comparative study of Learning Spaces on 4 continents (100+ institutions).

I'm also involved in EDUCAUSE Learning Spaces group through the Learning Spaces Rating System, and in the FLEXspace online repository.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:03

Thanks to you Sanjeet as well for the organization of this online chat

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:04

Hi John, welcome and I am happy to have you here @oee @John Augeri

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:05

@Ebba Ossiannilsson

Thanks Ebba for organizing this.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:06

Seems that you have a lot or experiences from EUDOCAUSE #oee @Ebba Ossiannilsson

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:06

Space, whether physical or virtual, can have a significant impact on learning. Learning Spaces focuses on how learner expectations influence such spaces, the principles and activities that facilitate learning, and the role of technology from the perspective of those who create learning environments: faculty, learning technologists, librarians, and administrators. Information technology has brought unique capabilities to learning spaces, whether stimulating greater interaction through the use of collaborative tools, videoconferencing with international experts, or opening virtual worlds for exploration. Together space, technology, and pedagogy empower learner success. I have som e questions to discuss, and I think you have as well

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:07

Maybe to get started

#1. Space as a change agent , what does that mean?

This topic aim to facilitate discussion on that space can either be empowering or be limitation for learning and for learners as for example large lecture halls does not stimulate group discussion or dialoges, rather they can make barriers, but for example flexible learning spaces may empower and encourage actions, interactions, cross actions, and dialogues. So due to what will be achieved, learning spaces can be adapted or moderated.

Learning spaces need to be expanding outside the classroom/school or university. As for example what D Cormier emphasize the society is the curricula Next generation learners requires more of just for me, and just in time learning, and more authentic, and challenge-based learning. They are also more used to Internet and social media, which have to e integrated into learning spaces, for interactions' and cross actions.

As learning spaces have an impact on and for learning, there are needs to cultivate a culture of innovate learning spaces

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:09

Do you have any reflections on this topic?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:10

@John Augeri hi - do you have any results from your comparative study of learning spaces yet? Perhaps in relation to space as a change agent?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:10

I have.

Beside the question of the Active Learning through redesigned classrooms (that are the entry point in the Learning Spaces for many institutions), we observe a significant rise of the informal Learning Spaces (Learning Commons).

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:11

Was just about to ask you John about the study of Learning Spaces on 4 continents (100+ institutions).

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:12

Do you think based on your study that this is a hot topic which will change teh way we consider learning and [email protected] Augeri

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:12

@John Augeri do you see a difference across continents?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:13

Most continents have no space assigned for learning if they are outside of Univ

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:14

Clearly my study shows so far a huge focus on such kind of spaces from the institutions governances, for different reasons (not only related to pedagogy).

We don't observe so significant differences in the design across continents, even though there are interesting trends regarding the technology.

For instance, and quite surprisingly, I visited "low tech on purpose" informal spaces in Japan.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:15

no, Univ have their space that is allocated based on online registration..it is a closed system

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:15

Based on your study or elsewhere, do you think this topic i a topic for leaders and managers as well, to prioritize?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:15

if we take Africa as a continent, many countries have no internet high speed etc.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:15

and I think that such informal spaces, beside other trends such as the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and dematerialized contents is something that could be highly impacting in the practices.

One of the numbers I often mention is an Australian study showing that students spent 4 times more time in informal spaces than in formal.

@Ebba Ossiannilsson

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:16

no, managers and leaders take usually the employees directly from "univ" and colleges

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:16

and may I add that my study in entirely focused on HE

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:16

..they pointed out that even when spaces are designed to be flexible they are often used in the usual way, rearranged as more traditional teaching spaces.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:17

@John Augeri Thanks for your clarifications

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:17

@teresamac Welcome to #OEEChat. Glad you could join us!

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:17

Maybe a related question

#2Learning spaces and evolving pedagogical approaches

This topic aim to facilitate discussion on evolving pedagogical approaches, as for example unstructured learning, flipped classroom, authentic learning, self-determinate learning, competence-based learning, but also learning by failure and more, and how spaces either can empower or limit learning

Also learning by social media and through the crowd will be discussed, and how spaces can make a difference.

Evolving pedagogical approaches concerned even leadership, as learning in and through more open spaces requires a shift in mindset related to allocation of time and resources, incentives fundings, capacity building etc.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:17


We also observe several supposed to be flexible spaces that barely never got rearranged.


Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:17

@teresamac very interesting. How can we get flexible spaces to be used more creatively then?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:18

have you all heard about the Learning Space Rating System ?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:18

this leads me to think that when we create flexible environments we also need to actively support the teaching practices which they afford, people need to experience learning within different spaces - both in real life and online

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:19

Please tell us more if you like, any links? @John Augeri

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:19

Some institutions provides printed spatial organization suggestions at the entrance of the spaces. Beside, there is of course the crucial question of Faculty Development


Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:19

@Ebba Ossiannilsson thanks! I'm catching up as fast as I can!

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:19

@John..who and where the ratings are posted?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:21

Yes I agree faculty involvement and CPD is crucial, as well as leadership and management. Then we have the learners/students who have other demands as they are living, working and studying in several spaces at the same [email protected] Augeri @alex

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:21

We developed this Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) in the EDUCAUSE Learning Spaces group I'm belonging to. I published the French and the Japanese versions this year, and look to have more localizations.

Si far, the LSRS is focused on pre-occupancy formal spaces assessment. I'm about to start to work on another version focused on informal spaces, with a more qualitative approach.


Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:23

Thank you @john

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:23

@Ebba Ossiannilsson at University of Warwick in UK, I'm a linguist and have been teaching for 30 years

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:24

@John Augeri thanks for sharing.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:25

So, regarding the Learning Space Rating System, two projects:

1/ more localizations of the original (formal) LSRS: German, Italian, Spanish, more ?

2/ the upcoming reflexion on a specific version focused on informal spaces

If some of you are interested to contribute...

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:26

@AlexWood @sanjeet Yes I think it is good if we can also have a lively discussion at OEE web and maybe a special space for this topic to share resources and links etc.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:27

I would be to publish not only this, but other results of my study, should you think it's relevant.

Actually I gave the talk about the international situation of Learning Spaces during the last EDUCAUSE annual conference, and I'm giving similar ones regularly around the world (I'm leaving to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in few days to do so).

So there is a presentation that I could share for some parts.


Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:27

#2Learning spaces and evolving pedagogical approaches. In your opinion and experience are there new evolving pedagogical approaches due to extended innovative learning spaces?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:28

@John Augeri if we talk about individualized learning, how would an IT platform support that?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:29

@Ebba Ossiannilsson in a language learning context I re-organised our teaching spaces (which had fixed desks with PCs in language lab style) into open spaces with moveable furnishings, wifi and sets of google chromebooks to enable student interaction. I also moved many of our resources online in this project https://tinyurl.com/ydxme39q

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:29

@John Augeri that would be great! Looking forward to receiving your content. We have a dedicated Learning Spaces area, so be sure to tag your content with the topic :-)

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:29

I think it will be great, if you can share, soles please, as this is a growing area, we need to collect research and evidens and [email protected] Augeri

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:29

@Ebba Ossiannilsson I am not sure if approaches per se but rather knowledge can be improved when there resources are different

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:30

@John Augeri but that require in class and that is where the difficulty occurs

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:31

the spaces are very important but it is also vital to support and disseminate the practices - showcase how they can be used. I have always found that this works best at grass roots level, teacher to teacher sharing and showcasing what they do. Important to involve students too in the design and implementation.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:31

Great !so we can continue to share and discuss on the topic. I see that many conferences are taking uptake topic of learning spaces, also due to the blurring of formal and informal learning @sanjeet

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:32

@John Augeri in a large world with so many cultures (i.e. almost every school being different) the education seems to show the differences rather than similarities

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:33

right, very important to involve students, and work on grassroots levels, but I will argue that it has to be supported and recognized from leaders and managers as well , and to facilitate incentives etc @teresamac

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:33


Actually in HE the situation is more... homogenized I think

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:34

@Ebba Ossiannilsson

Involvement of students, practitioners, and stakeholders is a huge key.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:34

one of our staff asked for additional white boards around the room for brainstorming and active participation - a simple but very effective and popular change adopted by most teaching staff in languages now

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:35

@John Augeri maybe because of streamlining but is that good or bad for future development? I do not see art on these platform while we all know its importance

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:35

Where are you based, and what is your experiences on th topic of learning spaces? @dgrossu5

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:36


Whiteboards is a very interesting example of low tech, yet extremely popular feature of the Learning Spaces (compares to smart boards)

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:37

Learning spaces is a very wide and broad concept. So I think the question is very much how we can empower learning by merging so called physical and virtual spaces and work more with cross action spaces s Isa Jahnke is arguing. What do you think?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:37

@Ebba Ossiannilsson I have my own org. BITSPEC www.bitspec.com but I teach in class (colleges) and then moved to tutor math and teach "bright kids"

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:37

@John Augeri yes, I'm a fan of "quick wins" little practical changes that have impact immediately. I still strive for bigger changes too of course - ideally would like to have a food preparation area for language teaching use as we can share so much culturally and linguistically through sharing food

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:38

..and also the use of social media for cross actions as Jahnke is arguing

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:39

Yes this is very interesting to work on real daily issues when learning languages and culture @teresamac

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:40

HE in other words will do more than K12? wouldn't be more fair to start earlier in the process of culture, education etc.?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:42


I wouldn't say the HE is doing more than K12.

K12 appears to be extremely creative in some cases.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:43

@John Augeri we all know when the development actually happens therefore the entire system needs to be shifted a little to include K12

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:44

I can agree, sometimes I think K12 are more creative and keen to adapt than HE @John Augeri

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:44

I will have to leave shortly but it has been a great learning experience..thank you

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:44

@Ebba Ossiannilsson no worries :) I have joined the FB group and I see many of my open educator friends there too

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:45

@Ebba Ossiannilsson studies show that by the time students reach to HE and they reach, some lose interests in learning

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:45

some mistakes in spelling as I try to leave now:-)

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:45

all the best

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:45

Maybe it also needs some kind of system shift, on how learning and education are organized @dgrossu5

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:46

@dgrossu5 thank you for joining. Don't forget the discussion will still be here to view once ended, so you can catch up at a later time.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:47

@Ebba Ossiannilsson in the UK teaching is only becoming a focus in HE thanks to the Teaching Excellence framework - still controversial but a welcome move in focus on to the student experience

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:48

Maybe time to rap up, some more issues on the agenda for today?

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:49

Yes, there is a need for such initiatives, from national level as well, so both bottom up and top down initiatives and to meet at all levels, micro, mesh and macro level @teresamac

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:50

@Ebba Ossiannilsson thanks for the chat! how spaces (both physical and virtual) are used is central to the work we do as teachers

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:50

@John Augeri good to connect, bone journée!

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:53

Really enjoyed this chat - lots of useful information on Learning Spaces.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:54

Dear all who have contributed today here in the chat and already also in OEE. Let us continue and use the space OEE has set up on this topic, and let all of us who believe that innovative learning spaces, and merging informal and formal learning matter advocate for this, wherever we are and act. So thanks for being here today. All the best take care. And tans to OEE for offering this space and time!

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:54

Pleasure for me too

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:55

@sanjeet thanks, that's an interesting set of resources

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:55

Thank you for moderating this discussion Ebba and thanks to everyone for taking part!

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:56

Hope we can keep in touch.

Thanks everyone.

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:57

Hi all!

I have been tweeting about this discussion on our @OpenEduEU Twitter account.

Those of you who have Twitter, please visit our account and share the tweets!

- Hannah from the social media team


Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:58

@HGCarter16 your twitter presence is so important, thanks for tweeting!

Tue 30th January 2018 - 11:58

Thanks everyone. This discussion will still be available for reference. Come back again soon...

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