SPACE TYPE

Indoor Learning Commons

Up to 56 Occupants

The Indoor Learning Commons supports multiple learning styles simultaneously and serves as an extension of the footprint of the Learning Studios.  The Commons must have a direct line of sight from the studios for supervisions and to encourage students to take ownership of their learning. The space should ideally be sized to accommodate one Small Learning Community of 150 students for a gathering or presentation.  The space can serve as a shared resource for other large groups such as after school programs, community events and staff professional development. Courses with low enrollment can be taught in a zone of the commons instead of a Learning Studio.  Media Resources can be accessed here, and the highly agile space can be outfitted with project tables to support wet and messy project-based learning and eating.

Activities

Specialized Academic Instruction
Mentorship by industry partners
Large group presentations
Performances
Grade level/theme meetings 
Cross disciplinary learning
Research using technology
Kinesthetic learning 
Inquiry Based learning

Project-Based
Problem-Based
Challenge-Based
Design Thinking
STEAM

Relaxing and reflecting 
Socializing and dining
Art and projects display, complete 
and in progress

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Indoor Learning Commons

Extends the footprint of the studios and labs indoors to support multiple inquiry-based learning models: Project Based, Challenge Based, Design Thinking, STEAM.

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Access

Commons Connection

Easy access and a visible connection from Learning Studios, Multi-Purpose Labs and Huddle Rooms encourages use and provides indirect supervision of learner activities.

Shared Ownership

Ownership of Indoor Learning Commons should be shared by the Small Learning Community. Provide movable learner workstations, tables and equipment, and comfortable furniture to promote shared ownership and encourage regular use.

Considerations

Space Definition and finishes

Easy access and a visible connection from Learning Studios, Multi-Purpose Labs and Huddle Rooms encourages use and provides indirect supervision of learner activities.

Relationships to adjacent spaces and finishes

Ownership of Indoor Learning Commons should be shared by the Small Learning Community. Provide movable learner workstations, tables and equipment, and comfortable furniture to promote shared ownership and encourage regular use.

Technology

Please see the technology section under Best Practices for a list of items to use as the start of discussion in the programming phase. 

Acoustics

Enhanced acoustics are needed to support more than one activity type occurring simultaneously in the same space defined by zones of furniture. Reverberation calculations with a criterion of 1.2 seconds at 500 Hz for these spaces is the goal to ensure the acoustical panels and materials in the space will work to keep the sound from one area from bouncing into an adjacent area. Acoustical panels installed vertically, at angles or horizontally are examples of ways to absorb reverberation. Furniture elements such as mobile felt screens will also help support student’s ability to focus. Carpet tiles will also contribute to sound absorption.