Elon technology leadership present at national conferences
Kelly Reimer and Joe Davis shared techniques for implementing active learning spaces at two EDUCAUSE conferences.
Kelly Reimer, director of Teaching and Learning Technologies, and Joe Davis, assistant director of Campus Technology Support/Solutions Architect, delivered presentations about innovative learning spaces at two EDUCAUSE conferences this year.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit organization that seeks to “advance higher education through use of information technology.” Reimer and Davis attended the national EDUCAUSE conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, last November, and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative conference in San Antonio, Texas, in February. They co-presented with colleagues from Kentucky Community & Technical College Systems and the University of Kentucky. The goal of their presentations was to help colleges and universities across the country develop active learning environments on their campuses.
In the last few years, experts in higher education have started to reexamine how the design of learning spaces influences student engagement. Many institutions are moving away from traditional lecture-style classrooms and creating “active” learning environments that are more conducive to group work and access to a wider array of technologies. As a result, there is a growing national discourse among higher education professionals about implementing and assessing the impacts of innovative learning spaces.
Elon joined this conversation two years ago when Reimer and Davis partnered with other faculty and staff across campus to establish the Learning Spaces Workgroup. Members of the Workgroup gather to confer on learning spaces at Elon—both classrooms and informal learning spaces.
Reimer and Davis directed their EDUCAUSE presentations to representatives from colleges and universities that are new to the conversation about innovative learning spaces. Reimer and Davis outlined the strategies that Elon’s Learning Spaces Workgroup has used to implement and assess active learning spaces. They also led audience members in small group discussions about best practices for promoting active learning spaces on their own campuses.
According to Reimer, presenting at the EDUCAUSE conferences gave her a better sense of where Elon is ahead of the curve, in terms of developing active learning spaces, and where there is still room for improvement. “The Learning Spaces Workgroup has been crucial to our success,” she says, “and we are grateful for the work [our group members] have done related to current and future learning spaces.”
Davis recalls that representatives from other institutions were amazed at the variety of faculty and staff voices contributing to the conversation about innovative learning spaces at Elon. “Our Learning Spaces Workgroup is a unique and essential factor that other institutions are interested in emulating on their own campuses,” he says.