UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -
UBC Public Affairs
UBC Reports
UBC Reports Extras
Goal / Circulation / Deadlines
Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces / Feedback
UBC Reports Archives
Media Releases
Services for Media
Services for the Community
Services for UBC Faculty & Staff
Find UBC Experts
Search Site
UBC education professor Samia Khan - photo by Martin Dee
UBC education professor Samia Khan - photo by Martin Dee

UBC Reports | Vol. 51 | No. 9 | Sep. 7, 2005

Education Prof Designs Better Learning Spaces

By Lorraine Chan

UBC’s new campus buildings are not only green, they have been planned to enhance learning.

The UBC computer science department recently asked UBC education professor Samia Khan, an expert in designing learning spaces, to help shape its new Learning Centre. The department wanted a space where students could put into practice the theories they were learning and overcome technical hurdles with a helping hand from teaching assistants.

“Current research shows that learning is a dynamic and collaborative process,” says Khan. “The part I contributed to the discussion was how students can construct knowledge individually, in groups and with digital technology, and how that learning can be assessed.”

Khan says the exchange translated into a flexible space where furniture on wheels can be easily reconfigured into single workstations or clusters to foster group learning. Electrical outlets and data ports run the length of the surrounding walls to provide students easy access throughout the Centre.

A resource centre for undergraduates, the new Learning Centre was unveiled at the July 2005 opening of a $40 million building expansion called the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems / Computer Science (ICICS/CS) Addition.

Khan says technology can complement and extend the physical spaces for high school and university classrooms.

“For example, in science where it’s essential for students to test ideas and build models, a simulation or remote access to scientific instruments from hundreds of kilometres away can extend laboratory and classroom spaces so learning can be fostered anytime and anywhere.”

Khan is researching these types of hybrid learning spaces with high schools in Surrey and Langley.

“We want to develop science classrooms that are both face-to-face and virtual.”

As well, Khan is working with education faculty and staff to design a new science education wing at the UBC Scarfe Building.

- - -  

Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

to top | UBC.ca » UBC Public Affairs

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131 | fax 604.822.2684 | e-mail public.affairs@ubc.ca

© Copyright The University of British Columbia, all rights reserved.