Useful Links

This is a growing list of useful learning space resources we’re gathering. Let us know if you have resources we should add here.

Professional development opportunities

Guides and Tools

JISC Learning Spaces Guide. This resource is provided by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), a UK-based organization supporting education and research. This is a guide with associated case studies and a photo library on new build and refurbishment in the sectors including sustainable approaches and business incubation spaces.

Guidelines for Learning Spaces – The Center for Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan has an excellent guide to designing campus learning spaces.

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities – Unfortunately, the NCEF is no longer funded, but its website archives a variety of resources on learning spaces and facilities. Drawn from NCEF’s vast database of 19,000 records, subject-specific resource lists provide a quick path to 167 school facilities topics. Each continuously updated list includes descriptions of books, studies, reports, and journal articles, with links to online publications and related websites.

Space for Learning- UK – This website is for all those who plan, design, fund, manage, resource, programme and develop learning spaces within museums, galleries and built and natural heritage sites. Here you’ll find a checklist with a comprehensive list of questions you can use to shape the planning for your learning space.  You can also find case studies and filter by budget, project scope, and more.

More guides and tools

Research Links

Clever Classrooms: Summary Report of the HEAD Project (holistic Evidence and Design)

Optimal Learning Spaces: Design Implications for Primary Schools

Visual Clutter Research

The Impact of School Environments: A literature review

The Neuroscience of Classrooms


The Space: A Guide for Educators

Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration

Learning Spaces: EDUCAUSE

The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching & Learning

Inspiring Spaces for Young Children

Evaluating Learning Environments: Snapshots of Emerging Issues, Methods and Knowledge

Designs for Living and Learning, Second Edition: Transforming Early Childhood Environments

Blueprint for Tomorrow: Redesigning Schools for Student-Centered Learning

Journals and Edited Volumes

Journal of Learning Spaces. Hosted by University of North Carolina Greensboro

The Importance of Physical Space in Creating Supportive Learning Environments A special issue of New Directions for Teaching and Learning published in Winter 2002.

Learning Spaces, an Educause eBook In addition to the e-book’s core chapters on learning space design principles (chapters 1–13) , this site also offers case studies illustrating those principles (chapters 15–43), including links to examples of innovative learning spaces.

In Sync: Environmental Behavior Research and the Design of Learning Spaces by Lennie Scott-Webber, Society of College and University Planning, 2004.

Communities and Organizations

Here are some other organizations, resources, and initiatives for improving learning spaces.

EDUCAUSE Learning Space Design Constituent Group –




slack”Slack” community forum:



LSCLearning Spaces Collaboratory – 
The LSC strives to “translate findings from contemporary research and practice in the field into roadmaps for shaping and assessing built environments for learning in the undergraduate setting.” Check out their website for quarterly roundtable discussions, webinars, and research reports.


Focus on Active and Flipped Classroom PedagogySCALE-UP. Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies. Focus on Active and Flipped Classroom Pedagogy.


ThSpecializes in informal learning spacese Learning Space Toolkit. Contains resources for planning, assessing and supporting learning spaces.




ISTE Learning Spaces PLNISTE – International Society for Technology in Education  

See the ISTE Learning Spaces Network 

Mission: The Learning Spaces Network promotes the gathering and sharing of information, research and ideas related to learning space design principles. The network offers: resources and research on best practices in learning space design, a community of practice related to design thinking and innovative learning spaces, and outreach and advocacy to raise awareness about the importance of space for learning.



Association for Learning Environments  

The Association for Learning Environments is a professional 501 (c)(3) non-profit association whose sole mission is improving the places where children learn.

And their annual conference Learning Scapes


CCUMCConsortium of College and University Media Centers

The Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC) provides sound leadership and a forum for information exchange. Our nearly 800 members are at the forefront of media and technology support for quality teaching and learning in higher education settings.  We are proud to include members from all sizes of post-secondary institutions as well as private enterprises that supply the media and instructional technology products.


CAELCouncil for Adult and Experiential Learning

The leader in linking learning and work, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) pursues work at all levels within the public and private sectors to enhance learning opportunities for adults around the world.



FTTEFuture Trends Forum 

Future Trends in Technology and Education is a monthly report.  It surveys recent developments in how education is changing, primarily under the impact of digital technologies.  Its purpose is to help educators, policy-makers, and the public think about the future of teaching, learning, research, and institutions.





Innovative Learning Environments & Teacher Change – @projectILETC
The Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC) project is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project funded for 4 years from 2016-2019. It brings together the expertise of leading researchers in education and learning environments and partner organisations in education and learning environment design and technology.



More Organizations and Conferences

LSRS – Learning Space Rating System

Criteria and proposed framework to assess learning space design


FLEXspace is thrilled to collaborate with the ELI Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) initiative. Each FLEXspace record contains a field where the LSRS score may be entered. This year, progress continues around the alignment of the FLEXspace and LSRS initiatives.

Download the handbook and scoresheet

The LSRS is intended to:

  • guide the planning and design of learning spaces,
  • objectively measure a design’s strength to support active learning,
  • assist in assessing the performance of learning spaces once in use, and
  • provide a guide to adapting existing spaces to institutional need.

“The Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) provides institutions with a measure of how the planning, design, and support of their learning spaces encourage active learning. The LSRS Team intends the system to assess the potential of physical environments to enable a spectrum of active teaching and learning engagements. The rating system enables institutions not only to examine the effectiveness of their own facilities but also to benchmark their environments against best practices within the higher education community, and thereby enable all to advocate for more effective learning spaces.” …Read more About the LSRS at




(list inspired by collections from Vanderbilt University, EDUCAUSE, and other sources).

  • Creating Experimental Spaces
  • Library as Classroom. What can public libraries learn from the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 HiEd Edition?  Michael Stephens of the SJSU School of Library and Information Science explains how the report can guide libraries in planning and developing their community learning spaces!
  • Flexible Classrooms: Highlights from #Spaces4Learning – This blog post by CFT director Derek Bruff features a few reflections on a learning spaces event hosted at Peabody College in December 2013.
  • Commons 2.0: Library Spaces Designed for Collaborative Learning Bryan Sinclair of the University of North Carolina at Asheville discusses ways in which today’s libraries must adapt to the Web 2.0 world and become collaborative and interactive spaces that foster student learning in new and creative ways. This article originally appeared in a 2007 edition of the Educause Review.
  • Flexible Space & Built Pedagogy: Emerging IT Embodiments This paper analyzes the convergence of information technology infrastructures and traditional educational spaces and proposes flexible criteria for material-virtual, hybrid learning environments. Torin Monahan developed the concept of built pedagogy to account for the ways that built environments teach values through their constraints upon social action and interaction and suggest ways that the built pedagogies of hybrid spaces can facilitate learning by inviting students and teachers to participate in the continual re-design of learning structures. This paper was published in the Inventiojournal at George Mason University in 2002.
  • Leading the Transition from Classrooms to Learning Spaces In this 2005 Educause Quarterly article, author Diana Oblinger discusses the changing notion of the classroom and provides a guideline to administrators who are directly or indirectly involved in the development of learning spaces.
  • Learning Spaces In this chapter from the 2005 Educause book Educating the Net Generation, Malcolm Brown explores some of the challenges presented by “net generation” students and the opportunities provided by new instructional technologies and changing ideas about how people learn. The article includes three scenarios for ways in which innovative learning spaces can transform our ideas about teaching and learning.
  • Learning Spaces: More than Meets the Eye This brief article discusses the shift of focus from “classroom” to “learning space” brought about by the integration of technology into teaching and learning. It originally appeared in a 2003 edition of Educause Quarterly.
  • The Psychology of Learning Environments In this chapter from the 2006 Educause book Learning Spaces,author Ken Graetz uses the fictitious setting of a classroom at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to explore a few of the fundamental ideas of environmental psychology and their relation to teaching and learning.
  • Radical Flexibility and Student Success Dr. Homero Lopez, founding president of Estrella Mountain Community College in Arizona, discusses with Educause Vice President, Diana Oberlin, his institution’s approach to designing learning spaces that engage students using a concept he calls “radical flexibility”. This interview was shared in the January/February 2006 edition of Educause Review.

More articles:

  • Chism, Nancy Van Note, and Deborah J. Bickford. “Improving the Environment for Learning: An Expanded Agenda.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning 2002.92 (2002): 91-98. Print.
  • Chism, Nancy Van Note. “A Tale of Two Classrooms.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning 2002.92 (2002): 5-12. Print.
  • Dornhecker, Marianela, Jamilia J. Blake, Mark Benden, Hongwei Zhao, and Monica Wendel. “The Effect of Stand-biased Desks on Academic Engagement: An Exploratory Study.” International Journal of Health Promotion and Education 53.5 (2015): 271-80. Print.
  • Fisher, Anna V., Karrie E. Godwin, and Howard Seltman. “Visual Environment, Attention Allocation, and Learning in Young Children.” Psychological Science 25.7 (2014): 1362-370. Print.
  • Fernandes, A. C., Huang, J., & Rinaldo, V. (2011). Does where a student sits really matter? The impact of seating locations on student classroom learning. International Journal of Applied Educational Studies, 10(1), 66-77.
  • Gremmen, M. C., van den Berg, Y. H., Segers, E., & Cillessen, A. H. (2016). Considerations for classroom seating arrangements and the role of teacher characteristics and beliefs. Social Psychology of Education, 19(4), 749-774.
  • Marx, A., Fuhrer, U., & Hartig, T. (1999). Effects of classroom seating arrangements on children’s question-asking. Learning Environments Research, 2(3), 249-263.
  • Sommer, R. (1977). Classroom layout. Theory into Practice, 16(3), 174-175.
  • Heflin, J. & Alberto, P. (2001). Establishing a behavioral context for learning for students with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 16(2), 93-102.
  • Hurth, J., Shaw, E., Izeman, S., Whaley, K., & Rogers, S. (1999). Areas of agreement about effective practices among programs serving young children with autism spectrum disorders. Infants and Young Children, 12(2), 17-26.