New Active Learning Space for Journalism

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Background

The academic vision was for a contemporary learning environment that should be modelled on a broadcast newsroom designed for multiple channels, by integrating the work flow across TV, radio, online and print. The approach was to design a collaborative space, where students are led through the curriculum and practical sessions, that mirrors a typical broadcast newsroom. The objective for the department was to embrace contemporary pedagogic methodologies for the development of craft skills through guided experiential learning. The space was previously a staff office for post-graduate academics, adjacent to the main teaching rooms.

Initial drawing, in plan view of the space, AG33

I hope that the space will create opportunities for a rich, intuitive and culturally relevant student experience. The academic team have embraced this contemporary approach, one that will support the departments’ learning & teaching approach to developing and enhancing relevant skills, both creatively and socially. The space will house the latest wireless technology to allow presentation, sharing and collaboration from mobile devices, within a dynamic, informal and stimulating learning environment. One of the key features is placing the academic in the middle of the room, the “Mentor in the Centre”® as opposed to the guide on the side, where they can see all the activities and mirror the editor role in most TV newsrooms.

It will include a radio studio and control room, along with a mini TV booth that connects to the main studio, developed by the Journalism technical support staff, shown above in green and orange decor.

The learning space features 4 large group tables with individual retractable PC’s, separate writing surfaces, power supplies for mobile devices and a shared 55′ touch-screen. There is also a sofa both for quiet and more private conversations, a high table and stools or quick impromptu meetings and a large display screen for analytics, news feed and monitoring of studio output. The space is planned for completion in time for the next academic year, September 2019. Until then, I have included these indicative drawings from the architects that have redefined our detailed and technically advanced design brief.

More to follow later this term as the construction nears completion and the technology gets installed. LEaD will be supporting staff with training, guidance and familiarisation sessions over the next few months. The wireless collaboration solution will feature large touch-screens to connect and display content across the space.

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