chapter  12
16 Pages

Informal learning spaces

The future – swimming with whales?
ByGraham Matthews, Graham Walton

This chapter looks to the future of informal learning spaces in universities and in doing so raises various questions and suggestions. The development of informal learning spaces and their role in student learning is obviously affected by wider issues within the university and society as a whole. Pedagogical advances affecting the development of informal learning spaces have included changes in structure, content and delivery of programmes. Managers are using a wide range of more sophisticated methods for evaluating informal learning spaces. A common theme in the literature is the need for more research on informal learning spaces and the need to integrate research on space, place and learning in higher education to provide conceptual underpinning and the development of models for practice. A major influence on developments in informal learning spaces has been information technology (IT) developments – they make possible the growth of innovative teaching and learning practices and creative use of space, formal and informal.