Final Assessment Part B


Studying Designing Spaces For Learning has been both challenging and invigorating, with the added bonus of allowing immediate practical application of the processes that have been encountered while exploring the eight modules.  Commencing the intellectual journey when attending a professional workshop with Ewan McIntosh (prior to the course) set the scene for the breadth and depth of potential design thinking process and goals, and the power of innovative and creative workplaces, but real understanding has only emerged from the maelstrom of ideas in recent weeks as the final responses have been formed. The timely arrival of Ewan’s book (unfortunately delayed due to a necessary reprint) has enabled the cognitive circle to be completed (McIntosh, How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen, 2014).


Brown’s Change by Design (Brown, 2009) and the work done by Pilloton, both in education and more general design (Pilloton, 2009) stimulated initial cognitive processes that resulted in constant reflection and leading to practical application as described here .


Defining the differing concepts described as design thinking, exploring the discords and similarities, challenging the tensions and attempting to apply them to specific educational settings was summarised by writing the literature critique. Adapting this new knowledge to education required ongoing reference to conceptual overviews of the role of teachers in designing learning experiences (well summarised by Grift & Major, 2013).


From early in the course it was obvious that design did matter but articluating why and deciding which of the different definitions of design was challenging and a fluid situation arose in terms of resolving personal opinion. It is is only through empirical research that the impact of space on pedagogy can be unequivocally  appreciated (Walker, Brooks, & Baepler, 2011).


In terms of testing out the different processes in the real world, some were readily applicable to specific classroom teaching; others were better suited to implementing change in a physical space. Still others may work better for virtual spaces which are constrained by space, time or geography, so have had to wait (McIntosh, 2010, p. 33). Few places are as fortunate as The Works, where a holistic approach was undertaken to create a new virtual and physical educational experience.


Building collaborative relationships for the purpose of improving teaching and learning outcomes has enabled improved implementation. This was achieved through:



Involving members of the school community the rewriting of the “library story” has proven very powerful and has been successful in redesigning the library space for contemporary learning, as documented in this timeline of images.


Commencing the practical application with both written and filmed observations and making changes in stages has proven beneficial, allowing reflection and consideration before the next thing.


Personal pedagogy has improved due to adopting design thinking processes to lessons, creativity in class and in the library has blossomed, and the spread of innovation has moved from lone rooms within the school towards a sea filled with islands approaching excellence, of which the library space is now one (McIntosh, How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen, 2014, pp. 22-23).






Bennett, P. (2007, May 16). Design Is In The Details . Retrieved June 28, 2014, from


Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: Harper Collins.


Grift, G., & Major, C. (2013). Teachers As Architects Of Learning: Twelve Considerations For Constructing A Successful Learning Experience. Moorabbin: Hawker Brownlow Education.


Hunter, B. (2006). The Espaces Study: Designing, Developing and Managing Learning Spaces For Effective Learning. New Review Of Academic Librarianship, Vol 12, No 2, 61-81.


Locke, M. (2007, August 10). Six Spaces Of Social Media. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from TEST: Notes On How To Make Culture In The Age Of Digital Attention:


McIntosh, E. (2010). Clicks and Bricks: How School Buildings Influence Future Practice And Technology Adoption. Education Facility Planner Vol 45: Issues 1 & 2, 33-38.


McIntosh, E. (2014). How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen. Edinburgh: NoTosh Publishing.


Pilloton, E. (2009). Design Revolution:100 Products That Empower People. New York: Metropolis Books.


Pilloton, E. (2010). Teaching Design For Change. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from


Simkin, M. (2014, August 15). Collaborative Ideation. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, August 15). Collaborative Ideation And Design Brief. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, September 15). Creative Coffee – Inventive Format. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, August 13). Designing Thinking Tasks. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, July 30). Further changes To Our school Library. Retrieved August 27, 2014, from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, August 2014). Inspirational Sites. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, September 2). Literature Critique. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, July 28). Module 1.1. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, July 7). Module 1.2. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, July 30). Using A Design Process To Implement A Change. Retrieved from Digitalli:


Simkin, M. (2014, August 29). What Is Your School’s Innovation Strategy? Retrieved August 29, 2014, from Digitalli:


The Works At Walker. (n.d.). Dear Architect: A Vision Of Our Future School. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from


Walker, J. D., Brooks, D. C., & Baepler, P. (2011, December 15). Pedagogy and Space: Empirical Research on New Learning Environments. Educause Review Online. Retrieved October 13, 2014, from


One thought on “Final Assessment Part B

  1. Pingback: Bold Moves for Schools: – Margaret Simkin

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