Spaces Enabling Change
This chapter argues that laboratory-based learning involves "apprenticeship, authentic engagement in practice, legitimate peripheral participation, experiential learning, etc". It describes an evaluation study of the X-Lab, a large, open-plan "wet" teaching laboratory housed in the Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney (CPC), intended for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary learning and teaching of the biomedical sciences. The use of both physical and virtual space in curriculum design and the impact of this use on learning and teaching practices are gaining increasing attention in the higher education sector. In traditional teaching laboratory design, rooms are usually designed and furnished based on student count, anticipated learning activities, and factors relating to discipline or institutional goals. The X-Lab was designed as a research-enriched, technology-enabled, physical containment level 1 (PC1) learning environment for the biomedical and health sciences, by a collaborative community of representatives from numerous stakeholder and services groups across campus.