Planning for Higher Education Journal

Observations from an Open, Connected, and Evolving Learning Environment

Journal Cover
From Volume 42 Number 1 | October–December 2013
By Matthew Barritt, Linda Knox
Planning Types: Campus Planning

Design Lab 1 (DL1) grew out of an awareness of core principles strongly similar to those of what has now come to be called connected learning, bringing them to life at the University of Michigan in 1999 in an extensively open, and continuously evolving, hybrid teaching, learning, making, presenting, and community space. DL1 shares elements of other learning environments but also differs in a variety of fundamental ways, including that it is an inhabited space with a culture of open user-centered design defined around a process of continuous change, ownership, opportunity, and risk taking in the service of authentic learning. Drawing from a 2012 yearlong descriptive research project, this article presents a snapshot in time-lapse video, respondent quotations, and researcher narration of course-focused activity in DL1 in order to show the complex, interrelated structures observed there that enable users to truly engage and DL1 to come to life.

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