Exploring Learning Space Designs

August 22, 2010

From the conference on ICT and Innovative Learning Environments in Danish Universities, I took with me several insights that I want to share and have already done so in several blogposts.

– Matters of e-learning are about open explorations of learning space designs. This, of course, can mean many things…

Phillip D. Long was one of the key note speakers and workshop presenters who is looking at different open source tools on the Internet that can be engaged as ressources in academic activities (i.e. for the educator, researcher, and the learner). At the workshop he mentioned a long list of open source tools. He is making the list available online, and I look forward to this! 

He has also written a book chapter on “Trends in Learning Space Design”. The chapter is part of a book on “Learning Spaces” available at the Educause homepage, which is surely a visit worth for anyone wanting to gain inspiration for higher education use of ICT. I also just stumbled on this interview with him. It includes interesting references to other writings by Phillip D. Long on open frameworks for education and open courseware.

– in Denmark we have several takes on what open explorations of learning space designs are about.

Christian Dalsgaard is one of the researchers who are focusing on as well as advocating open source approches to the design of learning spaces. He is among other the author of the article “Social software: E-learning beyond learning management systems“. Dalsgaard encourages what he calls self-governed communication and learning environments. His approach takes point of departure in the individual student’s options to choose from and engage with the vast variety of open sources that exist and are available and free on the Internet.

Virtual Worlds like Second Life are for some researchers the point of entrance to new matters of e-learning. In Denmark, for instance, Marianne Riis has dedicated her PhD research to “Exploring 3D remediation: research, teaching and learning with and in a new media”. Her blog is worth a visit.


  1. Mikalas: it was a pleasure meeting you and your colleagues in Copenhangen. I’m encouraged by the expressions of interesrt and support that seem to be forthcoming from the Danish Miniistry of Science, Technology and Innovation to foster creative experiments that establish new learning environments for Danish students and faculty.

    I hope the message was not lost in the presentation of tools that policies to incentivize and reward faculty for engaging in the 4Rs are crucial for the longer term sustainability of innovations in learning spaces as well as open educational practices. Policies from the institutions themselves and the Ministry can make it easier to do the ‘right thing’. In contrast it’s very difficult for policies to impose lasting change without draconian impositions that generate as much resentment as reward.

    You’re in a wonderful place to step forward as leaders and takers of calculated risk. With the talent and creative energy displayed at the innovtion workshop I’m looking forward to seeing spaces and data about their impact on learning emerging from Denmark in the near term.


  2. Hi Philip,
    Thanks for taking your time to write this central comment. I agree with you, and I think that the message was clearly conveyed (at the conference) that neither ICT in itself nor individual persons can take/bear responsibility for longer term sustainability of innovations in learning spaces as well as open educational practices. Policy makers,industrial actors, educational institutions, educators, researchers, and students take part in forming collectives that create movements with ICT in the educational system.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: