Several people interested in the future shape of Concordia took part recently in a teleconferencing session on the "learner-centred environment," and came away filled with enthusiasm for the concept.
The two-hour session, co-produced by the U.S. Public Broadcasting System and the Society for College and University Planning, took the form of a panel discussion with film clips. The panelists were all administrators at U.S. institutions that have recently built new facilities.
The discussion is especially applicable to Concordia, as we approach the prospect of building a new science centre on the Loyola Campus, and new downtown facilities for engineering, computer science and the visual arts.
The panelists all stressed the importance of putting students' needs at the centre of the design process. This often involves creating facilities that serve many purposes, not all of them academic.
One student, interviewed in Northern Arizona University's new Johnson Center, said, "I spend most of my day here. It's bright and big, there are quiet study places and places to do group discussions, I can check my e-mail, and I can grab a bite, too."
Fortunately, the session was videotaped. If you would like to borrow the tape, please call Cameron Tilson, Senior Planning
and Policy Analyst, in the Rector's Office, at 848-7976. There is also an excellent Web site on the subject, at www.pbs.org/
adultlearning/als/scup/.exemplars - BB