When redesigning a space — whether something formal like a classroom or more informal, like a computer lab — an important first step is to engage end users. Ask questions like, “What are the things that you really need this space to do for you?” Thinking of a typical classroom space or computer lab, what is it that you like about the spaces that are currently available? What are the things we could do better?
A lot of times, I won't even talk about the technology or the furniture. But say, "in your perfect world where you were not confined to any space at all, how would you want to teach this content to your students?" Then I try to work backwards from there.
After we have our feedback, our learning spaces team meets to work out the details. This is a matrix team with representation from all our different IT groups. We have members from our digital infrastructure, user services and classroom media, and instructional technology teams, and we try to unpack the feedback that we get from our users.
We identify what are some common themes or common needs people have expressed, and then mine our combined expertise to determine what are some ways that we can go about addressing these needs. After we figure that out, we go to the market and find the products that best fit those needs.