Call for Paper #elearning papers August 23rd 2013. Design for Learning Spaces and Innovative Classrooms

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Design for Learning Spaces and Innovative Classrooms  (Deadline, July 28th 2013 August 23rd 2013)

The context of the learning experience changes over time, with technological, economic and social developments influencing the types of spaces learners and teachers require in order achieve their desired outcomes. Throughout Europe, the educational facilities sector is undergoing significant change both in the demographics of the student body and from technologically driven changes in teaching and learning. Currently, the financial climate and resulting government budget cuts are creating challenging times for the sector.

How can we inform, guide and support the sustainable development of learning and teaching spaces and practices, maximizing flexibility so they can be used by as many disciplines as possible? Learning space designs frequently reflect didactic modes of learning without paying adequate attention to other important modes. As Gibbons and Fried Foster (2007, p. 82) point out, university staff tends to assume that the experiences of students today are similar to their own experiences as students, but this is not the case. Research suggests that we should make use of technologies and approaches that students prefer; future schools  should be organized to accommodate learner-generated aspects of their learning experience.  Gibbons and Fried Foster advocate a user-centered design approach founded in an understanding of the diversity of student experiences.

Over the last few years, we have observed a paradigm change that shows a move towards an increasingly learner-centered approach to teaching and learning. The meaning of learning has changed from a one-directional instructional method to emphasizing the fact that knowledge is built through collaboration between teachers and students, or amongst peers themselves, working on projects and tasks or solving problems.

Another major factor that has had a tremendous impact on the way we learn is the sometimes overwhelming amount and presence of all kinds of technologies that support teaching and learning. These range from whiteboards and tablets, to web-conferencing online tools and all sorts of digital resources.

All the above has increasingly made traditional learning spaces obsolete. In the same way that formal and informal learning blur, so do the confined spaces devoted to such learning practices. Study rooms, common areas and cafeterias merge into one-for-all spaces that allow learning to spring from interaction amongst different actors. Current learning spaces require some flexible physical spaces that are able to host embedded technologies almost unnoticeably, while also integrating the physical environment outside the building as yet another source of direct knowledge and exploration for students.

As blended learning becomes the new trend in constructing effective innovative classrooms, the demand for small and easily adaptable learning becomes more apparent. In this state of affairs, it is crucial to bring together instructional designers and architects when designing learning spaces.

To what extent are higher education institutions and school communities working towards this goal? What type challenges do instructional designers face regarding physical and virtual spaces when creating their syllabi and class plans? And what type of problems can practitioners share in order to effectively design virtual and physical learning environments? Will changing learning spaces force better teaching practices for those teachers less convinced of the benefits of technological and innovative classrooms?

This issue of eLearning Papers explores practices and experiences in designing learning spaces specifically for innovative and creative classrooms. We especially invite contributions which address one or several of the following issues:

  • Experiences about the design and implementation of innovative learning spaces
  • Creative learning spaces to inspire teachers and students
  • Learning spaces for different purposes to motivate different types of learning
  • Designing flexible learning spaces to accommodate innovative pedagogies
  • Design and teamwork in developing the e-mature school environment
  • Designing and refurbishing schools and classrooms for 21st century learning
  • Redefining physical space and time (ubiquitous learning)
  • Innovative experiences with learning spaces
The article submission deadline is July 28th, 2013. The anticipated publication date: end of August 2013. For further information and to submit your article, please contact Laia Canals, current chief editor, at editorialteam[at]

Guest editor: Prof. Dr. Mike Keppell, Executive Director and Professor, Australian Digital Futures Institute at University of Southern Queensland.

The submissions must comply with the following guidelines:
  • Submission language: English
  • Title: must effectively and creatively communicate the content of the article and may include a subtitle.
  • Executive summary for the In-depth section should not exceed 200 words.
  • Executive summary for the From the Field section should not exceed 50 words.
  • Keywords: up to five relevant keywords must be included.
  • In-depth full texts: articles should range from 4,000 to 6,000 words.
  • From the Field texts: texts should not exceed 1,200 words.
  • Conclusions: special importance is given to the representation of the conclusions, which should be clearly stated both in the summary and at the end of the article.
  • References: All the references must be adequately cited and listed.
  • Author profile: author name, institution, position and e-mail address must accompany each submission.
  • Images: Please send high resolution JPEG files
See the complete guidelines at: Instructions for writers

Continuous call for papers on open topics (no deadline)
Besides the specific calls for papers, we always consider open topic papers to be published according to available space in the publication and quality of submissions. Please feel free to contact us for further information and submit your paper by sending it to: editorialteam[at]

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