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Training Session: Open-Space Learning

Wednesday 20th of March 14.00 – 16.00
Reinvention Centre, Westwood campus

If we are serious about asking our students to engage fully with the material with which we supply them, we have to offer them teaching and learning methodologies that provide them with the opportunity to ‘create’ their own knowledge. Responsibility for learning, in this scenario, needs to be handed over to the students, and the tutor must, to some extent, ‘uncrown power’.

This workshop demonstrated ways this might be achieved, using a methodology called Open-space Learning (OSL). OSL is a collection of pedagogic practices that seek to break free from the restrictions of the seminar room and lecture theatre and, using spaces free of tables and chairs, move into a learning environment that is ‘open’ both literally and metaphorically.

OSL means that students, when required to function both as an ensemble and as an audience for each others’ work, find that they develop and enhance collaborative and creative approaches to their work whilst retaining a focus on the specifics of their disciplines. The session is designed to encourage an atmosphere in which learning takes place in the students’ interactions with their peers, their tutors, and the learning materials, and to offer practical ways that participants can take away and use easily in their own teaching activities.

The nature of the session meant that participants interacted with each other using a variety of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic mediums.

Blog posts reflecting on this event:

Emma Beckett - Open-Space Learning: Thoughts on a training session

Anna Sloan - Gender Oppression and Intersectionality

Nick Monk - Thoughts on an OSL workshop