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Thursday, October 27 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Creating a Flexible and Open Learning Environment for the Architectural Studio

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Learn how the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State is supporting the architectural studio with an open learning environment.


The Knowlton School of Architecture (KSA) at The Ohio State University educates design professionals in Architecture and related disciplines.  Core learning takes place in the studio, an open space in which groups of learners work through iterative processes to respond to design challenges.  The spirit of openness and peer-to-peer learning are the tenets of studio culture; sharing and learning from fellow students is critical to the learning process. 

The studio environment cultivates visual learners who need specialized resources that support a rich image and media environment.  Studios often collaborate with outside parties who may act as clients, jurors, or consultants, which necessitates openness in workflows, content, and systems.  Open workflows and tools that support rich media interaction with external parties are not a part of many traditional learning systems.  Therefore, the KSA web team's response to the studio environment includes two specialized Drupal web applications: the Digital Library, a library of educational digital media that supports the curricula and is host to the School's Open Educational Resources, and Community, a collaboration platform.

Because it is often difficult to use traditional libraries to engage in research and learning that is primarily visual in nature, the Digital Library offers visual materials at the most granular scale.  Maintaining this granularity both maximizes flexibility in the discovery and use of the library's media and enables learners to self direct their learning processes.  The Library contains media that offer "just-in-time" learning opportunities, historic and contemporary examples of architectural techniques, and examples of built works in various phases that further expose the design process to students.  Studio participants can also contribute media directly to the Digital Library, building the collections for future students and others in the discipline. 

The Community website provides a collaboration space for studio participants to post their work where peers and external critics can review and comment.  The site is capable of managing the visual documentation used in the studio and also keeps track of students' authored materials, allowing for reuse outside the bounds of their enrollment in a course or at the School.  The iterative nature of the studio is revealed as students post their work in various design phases.  The site, then, captures the evolution of each student's project over the course of the term, and because each posted item has its own visibility control, students may share their work with peers or external audiences.  Planning this site with openness in mind allows for student dialog with external reviewers, but also allows for informal dialog with others who are not enrolled in the course.  Learners using the Community platform may also export media and related metadata to the Digital Library.  This enriches the educational resources in the Digital Library while allowing the School to create efficiencies in data and system management.


avatar for Matthew Bernhardt

Matthew Bernhardt

Web Developer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Coming soon ...

Thursday October 27, 2011 3:00pm - 3:30pm MDT
White Pine

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