Leveraging the Collaborative and Interactive Potential of 21st Century Learning Spaces: Victoria University’s Student Business Innovation and Incubation Space

By Christine Armatas and Andrew Vincent.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The teaching and learning policy at Victoria University (VU) has underpinning principles committed to the promotion of active learning and student centred-learning approaches. In keeping with these commitments, VU has invested in the creation of new learning spaces that facilitate and support the desired learning approaches. The Faculty of Business and Law has added to its collaborative learning spaces a new facility called the Student Study Hub (SSH). Moving beyond its initial concept as a business incubator, these spaces have opened up many possibilities for innovative teaching and learning approaches which are facilitated by the spaces themselves. The flexible nature of the spaces make them suitable for many purposes, but do not fit well with traditional lecture/tutorial approaches, which requires developing new approaches. The spaces facilitate collaboration and participant interaction and so are well suited to small group work, seminars and workshops. To take advantage of the new spaces, the Faculty has designed a program of activities to be run through the SSH. Students run the spaces as a work-integrated learning experience, handling the day-to-day operations. Activities conducted within the SSH include team-based computer simulation games, project work by students and clients, peer mentoring sessions and workshops and seminars. All of these activities are directed towards helping students to practice and enhance a range of employability skills, including problem solving, critical thinking and team work. They are also designed to assist with students’ transition and retention by providing peer support mechanisms through the SSH activities. Evaluation of this initiative focuses on the student experience and the effectiveness of this program for helping to develop work-ready graduates.

Keywords: Learning Spaces, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Employability Skills, Work Integrated Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp.133-142. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 796.104KB).

Dr Christine Armatas

Senior Lecturer, Curriculum Development Unit, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Armatas has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is a registered psychologist with expertise in curriculum design and evaluation. She is currently working in the Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University on a range of projects associated with strategies for engaging industry in curriculum design and delivery and the appropriate use of technology to enhance students’ learning outcomes.

Andrew Vincent

Lecturer, Curriculum Development Unit, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


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