Learning that is connected to life and work captures the essence of what we stand for at Charles Sturt University. Acknowledging the culture and insight of Indigenous Australians, Charles Sturt University’s ethos is described by the phrase from the Wiradjuri, the traditional custodians of the land of our original campuses; ‘Yindyamarra Winhanganha’, which means ‘the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in’ (University, University Strategy 2022, 2019). This Strategy outlines the plan for Charles Sturt University to develop learning spaces that encourage and provide a wide range of learning and teaching activities, guided by the Educational Space Planning Principles (the Principles – the heart of the Strategy) that focus on the main purpose of the facility which is active, blended learning, research, positive student experiences, and outcomes focusing on development of learning environments connected to the community and the world.
The Charles Sturt University Learning Spaces Strategy has been consultatively developed over an extended period of time and approved by the Learning Environments Committee on 12th July 2019 (and finalised on 11th October 2019).
The principles are important because they help to guide and justify choices in relation to design and ensure that the design process remains focused on the main purpose of the facility, which is active and blended teaching, learning, research, and positive student experiences and outcomes (physical and virtual). Each principle contains case studies as examples of the solution afforded by the respective principle. You can view the case studies within the Strategy document.
There are 5 Educational Space Planning Principles:
This includes developing spaces that showcase the achievements of the Charles Sturt University community, honours and promote inclusivity of cultural connection with the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which Charles Sturt University campuses are located, using the natural environment for connection with surroundings and better user experience as a learning community, responding to the community that the campus is located on and acknowledging unique identity of each Faculty and/or School through the design of spaces that cater for their needs and connection to the professional world.
The learning environment will support the ‘whole’ learner developing lifelong skills, relationships and love of learning by engaging, inspiring, supporting and caring for its users. This includes social hearts, learning commons, effective technology tools and support and spaces to encourage learning communities and support services. Consideration of signage and facilities to assist in the navigation throughout the campus is also important and facilities to cater for student life 24/7 that represents spaces for students to have a place away from home.
This principle includes leveraging technologies and spaces located centrally for seamless learning and professional experiences, critical literacies is supported, collaboration in learning, teaching and research with an emphasis on creative thinking and problem-solving spaces and active, authentic learning with consideration of general, specialist, workplace and simulated spaces.
This principle considers the continuation of relevant committee groups, evaluation and feedback processes on the use of space to guide the design and professional learning for staff to cater to Charles Sturt University students.