The Estates & Facilities Team are continuously working to improve our teaching spaces for our students and colleagues. Our annual Teaching & Learning refurbishments budget allows us to invest in our teaching campus, with money allocated to spend on enhancing Audio & Visual technologies, creating innovative and well-functioning spaces and refreshing interior decoration; helping us to provide comfortable and inspiring spaces for our people to work and thrive in.
Each project is worked through extensively to create effective designs to best suit each unique space, relying heavily on information we gather through consultation and feedback. Furthermore, in line with the University’s Climate Action Plan and NET Zero Carbon targets the Estates Team use functional suitability assessments to determine prioritised spaces and highlight opportunities for partial refurbishments including reusing and restoring our teaching room furniture.
With this blog, we will keep you updated on our live and upcoming Teaching & Learning refurbishment projects. Also giving you the chance to have your say through our online consultation and feedback forms. The page will also be used to promote Estates-led teaching events and provide details of in-person consultation opportunities, as well as giving visitors to the page an insight into our project processes and construction progress. Remember to check back regularly to stay informed with our work and look out for our information posters popping up around the University campus.
Armstrong 3.38 has received a regal renovation, with a room flip to allow for shorter depth teaching and to accommodate more collaborative working. The rich green highlights the room’s character – its vaulted ceilings and deep window reveals contrasted against the wood grain, all elevate the room to make it worthy of its place within the iconic Armstrong Building. Have you used this new space? Let us know what you think!
Have you been in our new Merz Court Teaching and Learning spaces?
We’re happy to announce our new and improved Merz Court teaching spaces have been welcoming new and returning students alike this September, 2022. Each teaching room has received a warm new colour scheme, new furniture and timber acoustic panelling. This has helped to soften the spaces by bringing some natural textured finishes to contrast against some of the harder existing building materials.
We’re most excited by our (not-so) hidden break out spaces. We’ve listened to our students who have asked for more informal, drop-down spots to catch up on work between lectures. We’ve created bespoke soft seating areas with extra power points to charge your devices, creating a comfortable alternative study space, open to all.
Check out our before and afters. Have you used these spaces yet? We’d love to hear how you are finding them!
Unfortunately due to a shortfall in strategic funds, we are having to postpone the Teaching and Learning refurbishments works planned for Ridley Building 2, originally due to commence May 2022.
We’re disappointed to bring you this news however, Ridley 2 will remain a key space highlighted in our Teaching & Learning Refurbishments programme and we will aim to deliver this project next academic year, between May – September 2023.
We’d like to thank all the students and staff that engaged with our consultations, both in-person and through our online surveys. We gained invaluable knowledge of how these spaces currently perform and where they are falling short of your expectations. All of this information has been collated and will remain the key motivator for decision making in our future design proposals for Ridley 2 Level 1.
Look out for further project updates of our Teaching & Learning Refurbishments that will still be going ahead this year including: KGV1 AV Improvements, Armstrong 3.38 refurbishment and Merz Court Teaching Rooms improvements.
Form, Function & Feeling in Teaching Spaces: Workshop, with Professor Prue Chiles, Professor of Architectural Design – 1 – 3pm
An interactive session with Professor Prue Chiles to discuss and debate what great teaching spaces could be and ways to achieve it. Through thoughtful design and understanding of both student and teacher, how can we design beautiful spaces which function for all and promote positive learning experiences.
In-Person Workshop: Location TBC
Tuesday 25th January ’22
Newcastle University Technology Enhanced Learning Advocates (NUTELA) Present: Enhancing Learning Spaces with Technology- 11am – 12
Hear ideas and current practice from colleagues across the University in this series of lightning talks exploring the innovative and future use of existing PiP teaching spaces on Campus for learning and assessment.
Presenters will discuss the future of spaces for digital exams with shifting assessment practices, how existing technology available to us all on campus can enhance education spaces for students and colleagues, and cutting-edge technology that could develop the blended learning experience.
Tuesday 25th January ’22
Hybrid Learning Rooms: A design for inclusive spaces, with Professor Paul Fleet – 12.30-1.30pm
Come along to this panel discussion hosted by Professor Paul Fleet on the opportunities for hybrid learning as distinct from technology enhanced learning. Done well, hybrid learning offers the possibility to maintain the guidance and comfort of traditional courses for both remote students and those attending face-to-face – this event will give attendees the chance to input into the design of a new space on campus.
Wednesday 26th January ’22
Lightning Talk & Panel Session with GSS Architecture & NORR – 12 – 2pm
Join Jonathan Hunter and Simon Rennison-Rae, Partners at GSSArchitects, and Robin Stewart, Director at NORR, for a series of lighting talks followed by a panel session and Q&A about Newcastle University’s latest Capital projects – The Dame Margaret Barbour Building, The Catalyst and Stephenson Building Redevelopment. This will be a chance to discover the ideas behind the briefs for each building, learn about their successes and what each building has to offer.
Thursday 27th January ’22
Making the Case, Making the Space: Creating valuable spaces for collaborative learning, with FaulknerBrowns Architects – 12 – 2pm
Drawing on the experience he has gained over fifteen years delivering inspiring learning spaces with Universities across the UK, and undertaking extensive research to explore the ways in which space can support the ways we work and learn, Ian Whittle, Associate Partner FaulknerBrowns Architects, will give a presenation exploring:
On-campus collaboration as a critical component of a blended learning experience.
Making the case for collaborative teaching: How can we articulate the benefits for learning, wellbeing and sustainability?
Making the space for collaborative teaching: delivering effective, flexible and sustainable spaces
Friday 28th January ’22
NUTELA Presents: Augmented Reality in laboratories and teaching spaces, with Dr Aleksey Kozikov (Lecturer in Physics) – 10 – 11am
Join us for a live, in-person demonstration of using Augmented Reality within University teaching spaces, with lots of time for questions and discussion.
Laboratory skills courses are crucial in that they help students gain hands-on experience of doing experiments, better understand the theory behind them, see practical applications of their knowledge and skills, and provide a basis for future employment. These courses are part of professional accreditation for bodies such as the Institute of Physics and integral mode of delivery for many other programmes across the University. Aleksey will discuss his experience of using Augmented Reality (AR) within laboratories to allow students to see the real and virtual world overlaid with each other. Within the demonstration you will see how when using a personal device, virtual objects (buttons, switches, cables, etc.) overlay with the real scenes and are made available for students to manipulate. With a switch to online learning, or to facilitate students learning remotely, the use of AR can be extended by using webcams located at the University to stream videos of real hands-on experiments live into students’ computers or tablets. With AR, students can handle virtual tools and perform the required tasks of experiments without stepping foot in a lab.
The Estates and Facilities team are excited to announce throughout the week of 24 January 2022, we are hosting a range of face to face and online events focussed on the development of campus education spaces, to reflect the lessons learned from the past 20 months and to support the future of teaching and learning.
The aim of The Art of the Possible – The Future of Education Spaces is to provide a new avenue for discussion between Estates & Facilities, students and teaching colleagues, giving you a chance to input into the ongoing investment strategy in education spaces which will in turn feed into the overall estate masterplan for the campus.
During The Art of the Possible you can expect:
Case studies of exemplar spaces both here at Newcastle University and in other Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the UK and internationally
The increasing use of social learning spaces across campus and the student experience during the exam period
The benefits of technology in teaching spaces
The importance of considering wellbeing in space design
Active learning space development in HEI’s
Hybrid teaching, how international HEI’s have made this work and what we can learn from their experiences
There will also be the opportunity to take part in a workshop on space design with Professor Prue Chiles (Professor of Design Research), attend a session in an augmented reality teaching room and see a flythrough of the new Stephenson Building teaching spaces!
We’re looking forward to sharing these events with you – keep an eye on here and our Estates Instagram: nuestates for more updates!
The Estates Planning Team had a great first day meeting students and hearing their thoughts and suggestions for the future of the Ridley 2 Teaching Rooms. If you missed us yesterday, we will be here the rest of this week: