chapter  1
22 Pages

Informal learning spaces and universities

An introduction
ByGraham Matthews, Graham Walton

This chapter presents an overview, with an international perspective, of current thinking, activities and issues relating to physical informal learning spaces in universities. It provides an opportunity for those with responsibility for planning the use of informal learning space to understand more clearly the issues involved and to help them learn from the experience of others. The value of collaboration is captured in a recently published UK HE Learning Space Toolkit (UCISA) produced by the Standing Conference for Heads of Media Services (SCHOMS), the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) and the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA). A key factor in considering informal learning space in universities is that there is no universally agreed or applied definition of 'informal learning space'. Informal learning space development can play a key part in addressing these challenges and, conversely, a major factor influencing the development of informal learning spaces has been pedagogical developments.