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Facilitating new ways of learning in Dutch higher education

May 2013 | Ronald Beckers, Theo van der Voordt

Literature shows that ‘new ways of learning’ cause a shift in learning settings with a growing attention to facilitating autonomy, interaction and knowledge exploration anytime, anywhere. These trends show evident similarities with developments in office environments known for as ‘new ways of working’. The purpose of this paper (for EFMC2013) is to explore how facility managers in Dutch higher education perceive developments in learning and teaching in order to keep the learning facilities aligned to the changing demands of modern education.

The study first describes the similarities between existing theory of new ways of working in offices and new ways of learning in educational environments, resulting in a conceptual framework that links learning space to new ways of learning. The framework is empirically explored based on interviews with facility managers in 14 Dutch Institutes for Higher Education.

The findings show that new ways of learning requires an integral approach that considers new ways of education, the new student, digitisation of learning and teaching and new learning space. The study presents ten points of attention to pro-actively cope with new ways of learning in higher education institutes. The results of the research contribute to a better understanding of the alignment of learning space to the evolving needs that come from new ways of learning supported by advanced information and communication technology (ICT) and can be used by facility managers and corporate real estate managers to support strategic decision-making.

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Theo van der Voordt

Theo van der Voordt

Senior Researcher │Msc, Civil Engineering