A Design Case Examining Learning in the d-lab

Katharine E. Leigh, Kenneth Tremblay, Nancy Miller, Amy Huber, Laura Malinin, Derrell Jackson

Abstract


The design process described in this case emphasizes decisions made to guide and direct the creation of a unique classroom addressing the needs of millennial learners. The project, a research/learning partnership with Herman Miller, gained insights from participants in a design charrette, an advisory group focused on creativity, and the practice, teaching, and research experiences of the project leadership. The challenge was to create a learning space that encouraged behaviors and activities to enhance creativity for today’s millennial learners. Decisions made during the design process were shaped by the perspectives of faculty and student users, whose comments were documented in exit interviews and annual teaching evaluation questionnaires. Despite a minimal budget, the project demonstrates how careful planning through ideation, strategic partnerships, and implementation took the design from wishful thinking to full execution and implementation. The resulting classroom is the case’s outcome and the design processes’ response to the needs of academic spaces that invite millennial learning.


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