Learning Environments Queensland - Agents In Change

Published: Sunday 16 May 2021

The latest LEQ event enabled students, teachers, architects, and other industry professionals to gather to discuss what learning in a globalised world looks like now and into the future. Host, Derek Bartels, Director of Innovation and Technology for Lutheran Education Queensland, discussed with the panel of 13 students from five Brisbane schools, the benefits, and challenges of remote learning during 2020 and what we can learn about the delivery of education moving forward.

Students expressed the positives of learning from home because of COVID-19 included less distractions, greater flexibility and efficiency, autonomy and ownership over when to work on different subjects and reduced academic pressure. Some of the interesting suggestions for improving our education system included reducing the number of subjects students do to allow for deeper learning, being able to choose elective subjects from Year 7 – one student compared it to creating a ‘Spotify playlist’ of personalised learning. Some of the environmental benefits of learning from home were the ability to choose where they set up their workstation each day, being able to spread out and take up as much room as needed, using Zoom break out spaces allowed for collaboration while working remotely, breaking up the day with activity, sport, exercise or five minute body breaks and being able to eat whenever they felt like it.

When asked what school could look like in the future, student choice was first and foremost. The ability to personalise learning through subject choices, teachers, and when to study, like university courses with recorded lectures, tutorials, and workshops. Collaboration, integrating subjects, space for movement and building independence were also identified as enticing.

Finally, when asked what traits their favourite teachers displayed, the students identified a teacher’s passion for their subject area, their ability to build relationships with students, incorporating personalised learning and engaging students and wanting them to do well.

Attendees were also able to tour the new learning environments at Villanova College, which include co-taught, dynamic learning classrooms for students in Years 5, 6 and 7, as well as a senior learning common, Year 11 and 12 classrooms and an auditorium for lecture style teaching and learning. Villanova College are offering tours of their campus during the Learning Environments Conference in June – click here to register your attendance.

Article by Kate Alexander, Villanova College

Images thanks to Photographer Studio Kirby