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The Translational Design of Universities

An Evidence-Based Approach

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Edited by Kenn Fisher

Whilst schools are transforming their physical and virtual environments at a relatively glacial pace in most countries across the globe, universities are under extreme pressure to adapt to the rapid emergence of the virtual campus. Competition for students by online course providers is resulting in a rapidly emerging understanding of what the nature of the traditional campus will look like in the 21st century.
The blended virtual and physical technology enabled, hybrid learning environments now integrate the face-to-face and online virtual experience synchronously and asynchronously. Local branch campuses are emerging in city and town centres and international branch campuses are growing at a rapid rate. There is increasing pressure at various levels, i.e. the city, the urban and the campus, to create formal and informal learning spaces as well as re-purposing the library and social or third-spaces.
Many new hybrid campus developments are not based on any form of rigorous scholarly evidence. The risk is that many of these projects may fail. In taking an evidence-based approach this book seeks to align with the model of translational research from medical practice, using a modified ‘translational design’ approach. The majority of the chapter material comes from the scholarly work of doctoral graduates and their dissertations.
This book is the second in a series on the evidence-based translational design of educational institutions, with the first volume focussing on schools. This volume on Higher Education covers the city to the classroom and those elements in between. It also explores what the future might look like as judgements are made about what works in campus planning and design in our rapidly changing virtual and physical worlds.
Contributors are: Neda Abbasi, Ronald Beckers, Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel, Mollie Dollinger, Robert A. Ellis, Kenn Fisher, Barry J. Fraser, Kobi (Jacov) Haina, Rifca Hashimshony, Leah Irving, Marian Mahat, Saadia Majeed, Jacqueline Pizzuti-Ashby, Leanne Rose-Munro, Mahmoud Reza Saghafi, Panayiotis Skordi, Alejandra Torres-Landa Lopez, and Ji Yu.

Afterword

21st C Learner Modalities

Series:

Kenn Fisher

The Translational Design of Universities

From Campus to Classroom

Series:

Kenn Fisher

Abstract

Transforming learning environment design thinking from primarily the ‘look’ or form must be accompanied by a renewed focus on functionality. The rapid emergence of broadband wireless means we can access information online anytime anywhere – in a virtual community or place – as the massive online open courseware (MOOC) and massive online campus courseware (MOCC) phenomenon have attested to. Should we now re-engineer our physical learning environments to ensure they are optimal for this form of knowledge construction? Many innovations have been developed to support this virtual/physical hybrid model but do they work? I argue that these innovations – or research projects – must be evaluated and the evidence of their efficacy gained used to translate innovate learning environments into working operational models in a scaled-up system- and campus-wide format. Translational design can be used to evaluate learning and knowledge environments to assist in improving learning outcomes.