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A dramatic, pedagogical shift has occurred in recent years in educational environments in higher education, supported largely by the use of ubiquitous technologies. Increasingly, emphasis is being placed on the design of new learning spaces, often referred to as "Next Generation Learning Spaces" (NGLS) and their impact on pedagogy. The traditional idea of "classroom" now incorporates the use of both physical and virtual space. Increasing availability of digital technologies has enabled access by teachers and students to a wider range of communication and information that can now be incorporated into the formal learning process. This change has meant a greater focus on the design and use of flexible learning spaces, more use of blended learning approaches and more personalised, individualised learning opportunities for students. While many such classrooms have been built and used in universities globally, only a few formal studies have been reported on how these spaces are used by both teachers and students. This article focuses on a pilot study of the use by academic staff and students of a next generation learning space - the Pod Room - and makes recommendations for further research into the effectiveness of new learning spaces in universities.
This document has been peer reviewed.