TRANSITION TO NEW LEARNING SPACES: A CHANGE MANAGEMENT APPROACH

C. Hall-van den Elsen, T. Palaskas

RMIT University (AUSTRALIA)
A building equipped with entirely new generation learning spaces in RMIT University, Melbourne Australia boasts innovative technologies and specialised furniture to support teaching approaches that foster collaboration, engagement and student-centred learning. Recent literature reflects many transitions into new generation learning spaces on relatively small scales; however the scale of the RMIT transition is unique and ground-breaking. The nature of the change process is significant because it involved a number of academic levels, discipline areas, faculty and students. Almost all teaching undertaken by the entire College of Business was re-located to the new spaces in one massive change initiative. This paper employs change management and innovation diffusion frameworks to examine the impact of new learning spaces on teaching practice. The researchers reflect on their experience, drawing lessons from the provision and nature of the professional development activities offered to faculty to prepare them for teaching in new learning spaces and to support them during and after the transition.