Learning Spaces

We are reimagining learning experiences one space at a time. From design strategy to immersive experiences to active learning to making, we are creating spaces built for experimentation, research, and enriched learning.

Spaces Designed for Experience

Learning Spaces at Penn State are as diverse as our students, and different kinds of experiences require different kinds of spaces. With that in mind, we’re challenging age-old assumptions by reimagining learning spaces and asking lots of questions.

Do we need a seat for every enrolled student? Do we need seats at all? Can online and resident students be enrolled in the same course section? What kinds of spaces can we design to best support making and inventing? If active learning is a good thing for students, what kinds of spaces are optimal for facilitating it? Do all learning spaces need to require tight scheduling? What difference would it make if we had “occasional” spaces? How can students’ generative thinking be shared with classmates in real time? What kinds of spaces are required as immersive environments are increasingly leveraged to support teaching and learning? How does a space accommodate a room full of students wearing Google cardboards that essentially render them blindfolded? How can we support faculty who want to challenge old assumptions, too?

New spaces continually emerge as we keep exploring, experimenting, collecting feedback, and conducting research. The result is a growing portfolio of learning spaces that support and facilitate an array of learning experiences; each of which challenges our faculty and our students to teach, learn, and think in new ways.

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Explore Penn State Spaces

The Dreamery

A co-learning laboratory where Penn Staters can explore emerging technology’s potential to transform education.

Bluebox

An experimental research classroom in Althouse 101.

Shared Experiences Lab

A space with furniture and technology that supports blended learning, video conferencing, active learning, and collaboration.

Design Experiences "DEX" Lab

Ignite your creativity with design thinking.

Immersive Experiences "IMEX" Lab

A lab designed specifically for 360° video and Virtual Reality creation and viewing.

Maker Commons

This university-wide initiative enriches the teaching and learning experience through 3D printing, rapid prototyping, design thinking and direct support for students, faculty and staff.

Media Commons

This university-wide initiative enriches the teaching and learning experience through multimedia technology, classroom training, and direct support for students, faculty and staff.

Commonwealth Campus Learning Spaces

Learning spaces and upcoming projects across the state.

Let's Work Together

Have a great idea? Get in touch with us! We can help you identify the right technologies to meet your pedagogical needs, or develop something completely new.
Contact Us

What’s Next?

We are actively looking to reimagine and redesign learning spaces across the University. We welcome challenges to typical classroom and lab design, and work to create innovative and engaging spaces. Design ideas with a specific academic need in mind, or ones that look to create a discipline agnostic space are all welcomed. Let us know what you have in mind.

Start with a concept, identify the need

Keeping pedagogical needs the focus of design is paramount whether the project entails renovating an existing space or building new. Throughout the design and build process, stakeholders are involved in the development and roll out of a new space. New materials, furniture, and classroom technology are sought out to meet the needs of those using the space.

Assistance for Commonwealth Campuses

Faculty that is located at one of the Commonwealth Campuses can reach out to Tim Linden of the Learning Spaces group for assistance in the request for funding. There is an annual request for proposals and allocation process established to help fund learning spaces across the state. Contact Tim to find out more about the process and how to apply.

Upcoming Projects

Projects in various stages are underway at Atherton Hall, The HUB, Lehigh Valley, Berks, New Kensington, and Dickinson Law School. Updates and photos of the these projects coming soon!

Explore some of our spaces in the video above. We are always looking for new ways to create partnerships across the University. Contact us to get started!