4 Ideas for Designing Collaborative Learning Spaces
- December 20, 2022
- Anthony Bowie
Designing collaborative learning spaces in your school is a great way to expand learning opportunities and enable teachers to engage students in new ways. These spaces are usually designed to meet the needs of a variety of different subjects or activities and are an effective way to encourage students to connect with and learn from their peers.
When designing collaborative learning spaces, there are many different approaches you can take. Your design choices can help to develop unique spaces that support collaborative learning across grade levels and different subjects. Working with a furniture partner like MiEN can help you select furniture designs and other elements that will best define and complement your new collaborative spaces.
Collaborative learning spaces should include furniture that will best fit students’ needs and support the content they will be learning within the space. For example, a collaborative learning space for English language arts might have a “library feel,” including stadium-style seating, lounge furniture, and collaborative tables to discuss readings. STEM spaces, on the other hand, could include mobile marker boards, high tables for hands-on activities, and tech-friendly spaces that can accommodate groups of students each with their own personal device.
Just because a learning space is practical and effective doesn’t mean it has to be dull or basic. Colors, textures, and the overall aesthetic of a space all play an important part in students’ learning. Selecting furniture pieces with unique designs in playful colors and materials helps to create a bright learning environment that differs from the traditional classroom.
When you’re designing collaborative learning spaces that are used by many different students each day, it’s important that the furniture pieces you choose can stand the test of time. MiEN creates functional and durable furniture that not only holds up to regular use, but also is versatile enough to be repurposed if your learning environment ever has to grow or change. Plus, you can be sure each piece you choose will look exactly as you envisioned it, since MiEN has a vast selection of visuals from other schools, showing how certain products will look in certain environments.
Collaborative learning spaces usually require teachers to take their classes to another part of the school, and some teachers might be hesitant to do this. However, as teachers become more comfortable with the new collaborative environment and experience its benefits, they will want to utilize the space more and more. You can help to ease this process along by providing training on how to best use the collaborative spaces, setting school wide expectations for the classrooms, and developing a sign-up sheet so teachers can efficiently reserve the spaces ahead of time.
Creating collaborative learning spaces in your school can increase student engagement and encourage students to connect with their peers. To learn about how Mulberry High School was able to partner with MiEN to design new collaborative spaces, read the article in eSchool News: 4 ways we designed collaborative learning spaces