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Teaching and Learning Spaces Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to provide the framework to guide the development and management of teaching and learning spaces in the University. Drivers will include academic and pedagogical frameworks as well as space utilization, technological requirements, and health and well-being.

(2) All teaching and learning spaces in the University must be designed to support the pedagogies to be used within the spaces, and have technology that fully supports the pedagogies and that is easy to use. Spaces should be designed to maximise flexibility of use.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This Policy and Procedure applies to:

  1. all sites controlled or managed by La Trobe University
  2. all courses
  3. all students
  4. all staff
  5. all indoor and outdoor spaces
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Academic input is required when designing University spaces whose function is to accommodate structured teaching and learning activities.

(5) All University campuses and sites will provide a range of teaching and learning spaces, to suit a variety of teaching and learning approaches.

(6) The University will take all reasonable steps to ‘future proof’ teaching and learning spaces by maximizing the adaptability to repurpose for future uses.

(7) Teaching and learning spaces will:

  1. Foster student centred learning activities.
  2. Accommodate teaching and learning approaches that include, but are not limited to, didactic (lecturing), collaborative, individual, social and virtual.
  3. Maximise the range of potential uses and to be as flexible as possible in configuration where applicable.
  4. Cater for all University group sizes, with adequate space per student in relation to pedagogical requirements.
  5. Provide a physical environment that:
    1. Is stimulating
    2. Promotes well-being, and
    3. Promotes student and staff engagement
  6. Provide consistency between Schools and campuses in terms of quality and standard of facility available to students.
  7. Provide comfortable, ergonomically designed furniture suitable for required uses.
  8. Provide consistent and appropriate technology to fully support the range of University pedagogies.
  9. Have cost-effective technology (that can be easily upgraded) to ICT standards.
  10. Be designed to minimise the University’s ecological footprint within requirements of uses.
  11. Be readily accessible by all students.
  12. Be available at a wide range of times.
  13. Cater for informal learning, including breakout spaces in close proximity to teaching spaces.
  14. Be timetabled to suit pedagogical requirements.
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Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - Role of La Trobe Learning and Teaching (LTLT)

(8) LTLT are to report on matters related to the design, refurbishment, and management of teaching and learning spaces. The reports are to be forwarded to Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) for review and where applicable implemented.

(9) Instances that can generate reports include:

  1. Projects
  2. Pedagogical developments
  3. Standards updates

Part B - Academic Input

(10) Projects (including existing building refurbishments and new buildings) for teaching spaces shall receive project specific input from relevant academic personnel.

Part C - Standards for Types of Space

(11) The Design Standards shall be applied to the design of all teaching and learning spaces.

Part D - Review of Standards for Teaching and Learning Spaces

(12) The standards in the Design Standards ‘Referenced Documents’ section should be reviewed on an annual basis.

(13) If urgent matters arise through the year requiring attention in the Design Standards, amendments are issued and fully integrated in the annual update.

(14) La Trobe Learning and Teaching (LTLT) shall be consulted for each update on the standards or for amendments if required. 

(15) Versions of the Design Standards shall apply to new and refurbished works as per the version at the commencement of works.

Part E - Space Allocation per Student

(16) Refer to the Design Standards for information regarding space allocation for students as it changes depending on the pedagogy.

Part F - Timetabling

(17) Timetabling will timetable teaching spaces to suite pedagogical requirements, within departmental requirements and through liaison with I&O.

(18) The Timetabling of Teaching and Learning Space Policy shall be adhered to.

Part G - ICT

(19) ICT will provide Audio Visual (AV) and communication standards for all teaching and learning spaces.

Part H - Infrastructure and Operations (I&O)

(20) I&O will oversee the procurement of new and refurbished teaching and learning spaces.

(21) I&O will review on a regular basis spaces used for teaching and learning.

(22) I&O will manage the process of updating and implementation of the Design Standards.

(23) I&O will apply ICT standards and liaise with ICT to provide required communication and AV facilities to new and refurbished teaching and learning facilities.

(24) I&O will liaise with Timetabling for provision of adequate student numbers, room types and availability for new and refurbished teaching and learning facilities in accordance with the Design Standards.

(25) I&O will manage Archibus and its data base. This will be, as part of the use of Archibus, for the use of Timetabling as required.