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Creating a better learning experience

Many departments, with the support of IATL, are exploring new ways of engaging with you to create a better learning experience


Open space learning

"In the warm-up, we try to undo everything the students have learnt since they were three!”

Shakespeare and the Law, convened jointly by the School of Law and the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, is a 15-CAT module that takes advantage of one of the many open teaching spaces across Warwick campus. The course consists of one 3-hour 'class' per week in the Humanities Studio, where Law students and English students are taught together and the traditional format of lectures and seminars is put aside in favour of rehearsal and performance teaching techniques.

“It’s great to get out of a lecture theatre. There are no desks, which helps you feel like you’re the master of your own experience; rather than being spoon-fed facts and figures, you’re encouraged to develop your own thinking.”

This module makes full use of Warwick's excellent open-space learning facilities; each session starts with a warm-up where the teachers join in with the students in a variety of physical activities. Participants then share their own ideas on points of law in the works of Shakespeare under the guidance of Professors Paul Raffield and Carol Rutter.

“When we are encouraged to embody the characters of the texts we are mooting about, I engage much more with the text than I ever could with academic journals or textbook reading.”

It's so rewarding to be part of such a collaborative module where everyone is keen to share their ideas. It's so interesting to work with people on different courses as you get such a range of perspectives.”

Did you know…?
  • As well as the Humanities Studio, used to full effect by Professors Paul Raffield and Carol Rutter, IATL maintains a number of other bookable spaces across the University, for use by both academic staff in the creation of their own modules and students looking for somewhere to rehearse.
  • IATL has been instrumental in the development of two specific pedagogies created specifically for use in higher education: Open-space Learning , and Student-as-Researcher. IATL's activities are informed by these pedagogies – and by those of many expert colleagues in the wider University – and they create a solid theoretical and practical base from which to create their own projects, and support those of others.
  • IATL's Student-as-Producer funding streams are available to support projects arising or separate from the curriculum, run by students, with the support of an academic mentor.
  • The Space Management and Timetabling Team were awarded £1million from the University's Capital Investment Fund to refurbish teaching rooms in the Ramphal Building , in close collaboration with IATL. The refurbishment was to create a flagship building for teaching spaces at Warwick, containing flexible, comfortable and aesthetic classrooms to empower tutors and learners to create an atmosphere where collaborative, research-oriented and interdisciplinary learning is possible. IATL conducted a research project to evaluate the success of the refurbishment.