Campus space – a place for learning?

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Campus space – a place for learning?

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Publication Other
Title Campus space – a place for learning?
Author(s) Leijon, Marie
Date 2012
English abstract
This paper presents an ongoing postdoctoral research project with the ambition to contribute with knowledge on the interplay between space, interaction and learning in higher education. What kind of rooms do students meet in formal campus activities and how are they designed? How are students and teacher interacting using resources afforded by the room? These are some of the questions that the project aims to examine. Space, place and room are familiar words, denoting common experiences. Space is sometimes used to discuss room and interplay between interaction and learning. In Swedish the words “rum” and “plats” could refer to a physical organization of the environment and the social aspects of the same, that is, we are located in spaces but acting in places. But this paper connects to the idea that both place and space are social products with different systems of practices. Traditionally on-campus education is associated with lecture theatres and tutorial rooms and the physical room as such is often taken-as-given. Thus the room in higher education as a place for learning is open to question. Space, interaction and learning in higher education are under-researched topics compared to similar research with focus on schools. There is, however, a field in social semiotic studies focusing on the interplay between human interaction, space and learning in schools. This approach also highlights how physical environment, as part of the setting, constitute an essential element in communication. Social semiotics also affords a way to understand and explore space as three-dimensional texts. For theoretical anchoring, the research draws upon a design theoretical perspective called “Designs for Learning” (Selander & Kress, 2010) to understand the activities in the room and space as a part of a setting, all in relation to the concept of design. But this paper also discusses how space in higher education can be organized as semiotic resources. It connects to Halliday´s metafunctional theory (1978) investigating space as three-dimensional texts using Halliday´s notion of three communicative functions. The research is illustrated with examples from on campus teacher education using video observations to analyse two kinds of classrooms and interaction of a group of teacher students and their teacher in the same formal spaces.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note 6th International Conference on Multimodality (6-ICOM), Institute of Education, , London University. 22 August – 24 August 2012
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