This is a very exciting time for the institution, its staff and students, with the new teaching blocks in Magee, Coleraine and the Greater Belfast Development giving us access to state-of-the-art learning spaces and emerging pedagogies and digital technologies.
CHERP has been working for a number of years researching into how we can best utilise these new spaces and what pedagogies we can avail of.
Learning Environment Plan
In August 2017, Dr. Jos Boys, the CHERP visiting professor in Learning Landscapes released a report entitled Learning Futures. This evaluative report was based on action research implemented as part of the Organisational Development Change Management (ODCM) Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience transition programme with the aims of increasing the awareness and engagement with active learning and learning space design in preparation for new learning environments such as U Block in Coleraine, MU block in Magee and GBD.
This has been supported through several CHERP activities which emerged from the Learning Environment Plan (Fig 1.): Active Learning Staff Projects; Apps for Active Learning; Active Learning Champions; Student Learning Partners; Active Learning Toolkit, Learning Lab, Sequenced Learning Activities Pilot and in Partnership with colleagues from Estates and Digital Services the refurbishment of 20 rooms on the Jordanstown campus to an Active and Collaborative default layout.
Download PDF version CCBYNC Richard Beggs Ulster University
- Watch a video explaining the Learning Environment Plan
- Read CHERP's Visiting Professor, Jos Boys Report on Learning Landscapes
It is exciting times for Ulster University as we approach the final phases of the development of our new campus.
In recent years the Coleraine has had new teaching blocks built that provide excellent learning and teaching spaces that facilitate an active learning approach.
During the summer of 2019, a number of Jordanstown classrooms are being reconfigured to active learning spaces; there is also a number of social learning spaces being created along the mall. This has been a collaborative approach between Estates, DISD, CHERP and Campus Life.
Each room listed below is having the IT equipment refreshed, new flexible furniture installed and whiteboards added to the walls.
The new teaching block in the Magee campus was recently opened providing excellent learning and teaching spaces that facilitate an active learning approach.
Active Learning Toolkit
To help you make the most of the opportunities that the new learning spaces provide, CHERP has collated and produced a number of resources to enable you to implement active learning in your teaching.
Active Learning Champions
CHERP have appointed 18 Active Learning Champions across the institution to help scale up the curriculum design, learning environment and technology adoption aspirations of 5&50 and the Learning and Teaching Strategy and to maximise the opportunities for innovation during this transitional period and to enable staff to be rewarded for taking risks in our learning spaces with new pedagogies, emerging practices and technologies and to inspire others to try new things.
EXPERIENCE: CHERP Learning Partners (Student Interns)
Our students are a huge untapped resource for supporting the enhancement of learning experiences, they have the ‘lived experience’ of a course and are best placed to support academic staff when they are trying something new or are in a new learning space.
After a successful pilot in January 2020, a new scheme is looking for Learning Partners for Sept 2021. Their remit will be to help teaching staff facilitate new pedagogies in their practice by providing support and assistance in the class when they need it or to help with learning and teaching research studies.
CHERP's Learning Lab
In order to allow our staff to 'Try before they buy' in to the new learning spaces, CHERP have developed the Learning Lab with the support of Estates and DISD.
This flexible and collaborative learning environment allows staff to experience this space as a student on MEd, PgCHEP, FST, Orientation and through revalidation support workshops so they can reflect on their on practice and give them confidence to try out new things.
The space has been designed to facilitate active and collaborative learning and features some of the flexible furniture and technology that will be available in the Greater Belfast Development.
Digital Learning Environment
The Office for Digital Learning are responsible for Ulster Universities Digital Learning Environment (Blackboard Learn, Turnitin, Panopto), visit their SharePoint site for guidance, case studies and their webinar archive.
Digital Services are responsible for the network infrastructure within the University, WIFI access, in-class technologies and the service desk. Visit their website to find out more about their services and training opportunities that are available.
Apps for Active Learning
Technology can enable us to adopt active learning even in some of the more traditional spaces.
Appropriately identify and utilise learning technology in your teaching through learning design and learning sequencing with ViewPoints Cards, Mapping of Learning Technology available at Ulster and storyboarding techniques.
Watch a video presentation on the pilot below:
- Watch Video 'Technology for the sake of it, I don't think so' by Richard Beggs
Further info contact Richard Beggs
Ulster Learning Technologies
- www.nearpod.com - Further info contact Richard Beggs
- www.mentimeter.com - Further Info contact Richard Beggs
- https://www.turningtechnologies.eu/turningpoint/ - Further info contact Chris Hamill
- www.Office365.com - Further info contact Chris Hamill
- Office for Digital Learning and VLE - Further info contact Blackboard helpdesk