Optimizing Educational Spaces for Enhanced Learning
Listen. Solve. Deliver.
Leveraging Data to Boost Efficiency, Collaboration, and Student Success in Classrooms and Learning Environments
We passionately believe that the design of educational spaces can ignite the full potential of students and educators. Our innovative approach, grounded in data-driven insights and visionary design, reimagines classrooms, fosters collaboration and optimizes resources to empower teachers and students. Join us as we revolutionize education spaces and reshape the future of learning.
At TVS we believe that creating designs that inspire and encourage individuals to reach their full potential is our highest calling. Our approach is to consider all the components that influence educational success as an interrelated ecosystem – each space, relationship, and feature has a role that either supports or inhibits the symbiotic relationships between students, faculty, and the overarching goals of the institution.
It is our job to understand the requirements, explore the opportunities, and lead constituents through a design process that results in consensus and confidence in the future plan.
Our use of observation, data collection, and heat mapping allows us to identify
areas within existing educational facilities that are overutilized, underutilized, and inefficiently utilized. Physical observation and the mining of scheduling data from registrars' offices allows our team to develop utilization spreadsheets which can then be visually presented through heat maps - floor plans which use a spectrum of color to indicate utilization, from green and yellow indicating underutilized spaces to red indicating overutilized spaces. This meticulous evaluation helps find opportunities for strategic space optimization, allowing us to appropriately size building programs and space needs lists, make the best use of spaces within existing and planned new facilities, and explore opportunities to reduce the overall footprint of proposed construction. Schools are able to move forward with the confidence that their projects are right-sized for current needs and future planned growth, allowing for a better allocation of budget resources and positively impacting construction budgets and capital campaigns. This also leads to the added benefit of being able to provide more places for student learning and collaboration beyond the classroom by freeing up square footage and budget for added features such as student learning commons, informal learning spaces, flexible group study rooms, and spaces to house student support programs.
Data-Driven Space Optimization
Guided by thorough research and analysis, we have integrated attributes of the collegiate education environment into primary and secondary education contexts. Harnessing the power of data visualization techniques such as heat mapping, we establish a shared comprehension of existing conditions, potential remedies, and the far-reaching consequences of pivotal decisions throughout the design journey. In this way, we have uncovered the potential of classrooms to be treated as versatile assets that can be shared, based upon need, by all teachers, rather than having each classroom “owned” by a single teacher which can result in vacant, underutilized spaces during free and planning periods. This innovation not only enhances efficiency but also cultivates a vibrant and flexible learning environment where courses can be assigned to rooms suited for their class size and which offer a variety of layouts and furnishings to suit varying pedagogical approaches.
Transitioning towards autonomous, unassigned classrooms has the added benefit of building the faculty community by facilitating the creation of shared faculty office space where both individual offices or open work areas can be co-located along with support and meeting spaces. This approach empowers teachers to focus on curriculum planning and assessment tasks in a dedicated and productive space, offers a consistent location for students to meet with instructors outside of class times, and enriches the faculty community by offering greater opportunities for teachers to interact with one another for support, collaboration, and professional growth. At upper school levels and in some cases middle school grades – essentially in grades that utilize class changes throughout the day – this approach provides students a transition to the collegiate model. For lower school grades, however, the nurturing environment created by a teacher’s individualizing the space may warrant the traditional “owned classroom” approach. In these instances, faculty community may be built and supported through other means including co-locating grade level classrooms and teaching teams and providing a strong support center for all faculty to share.
Designing Future-Ready Classrooms
We believe that creating a more efficient and flexible learning environment benefits both teachers and students. By rethinking how classroom spaces are used and their importance in the education ecosystem in conjunction with adjacent informal spaces, we can create a more dynamic learning environment that promotes collaboration and engagement, while also reducing the overall cost of the building, preserving precious resources for needed program enhancements. While introducing the collegiate model of shared use classrooms is not for every institution or grade level, it can help schools optimize facility use in the right circumstances and allow them to implement changes that can positively impact their students and faculty. We believe that our approach will lead to better learning outcomes, and look forward to working with schools to implement these ideas in the future.
Heat maps utilize a spectrum of colors to indicate room usage - from green and yellow indicating underutilization to red indicating overutilization.
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