More talk, less walk

| June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

As global warming affects our planet, so education institutions must change their public faces, says Robert Nelson from Monash University in Sydney, Australia. Too many seats of higher learning cling to outdated design aesthetics in accordance with their status as cerebral havens.

Now, opines Nelson, the ivory tower must move beyond the idea of a set of discrete buildings surrounded by gardens and connected by paths. “Because contemporary campus design discourages human assembly, it discourages conversation,” he adds. If the physical campus is to survive the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other online learning opportunities, it must convert to socialised learning, or what Nelson terms “learning through conversation”.

“As university campus life continues in the hallowed halls of yesteryear, the consequence is a downgrading of outdoor verbal exchange, because people move busily along paths rather than hang out in courtyards. “Old-fashioned university design displaces people from higher education’s conversational heart.” 

Category: Winter 2014

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