Critical Reflection

How have my views, knowledge and understanding of the work of an education professional in digital environments changed and/or developed?

Critical Reflection

‘Designing Spaces for Learning’ has been a challenging but rewarding time of intense learning. Acknowledging the vital link between ‘learning theory’ and ‘design theory’ has been a key understanding developed throughout the course. The tension between design, space and learning has been  reflected in the wide range of academic readings and TED talks. Practical examples of space changes both on a small and large scale such as the Design Council in UK, MindLab in Denmark and Stanford.d in USA as well as academic theoretical readings such as Razzouk & Shute (2012), Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby (2012) and Brown (2009) have provided a wide perspective on these issues for me as a learner.

In completing the Case Study, skills of critical thinking were needed to further understand the link between physical and digital space and how it influences practice. I am in agreement with Hunt, Huijser and Sankey (2012) who conclude that pedagogy should be the shaping influence. The documentation of leadership in the case study of a new virtual library learning space was timely. It was useful to apply terminology to aspects of the design problem and to acknowledge issues that were occurring as part of the process. Further opportunities to apply these principles to future learning contexts will be pursued.

Blog Post 1 enabled synthesis of thoughts on physical space problems, while Blog Post 2 developed the skills of empathic observation, a wonderful opportunity to step back from my own practice and observe how the space is being used. Empathic observation can play a large part in planning digital and physical space. The feedback from other students in the course following this exercise was extremely valuable. Blog Post 3 recorded the beginning of thoughts on a proposed Case Study, however upon deeper reading, this post became increasingly irrelevant.  The Creative Coffee event provided an opportunity to gather some creative individuals together and to begin to understand the role of design in planning spaces according to their use.

Modules 7 and 8 informed of future and experimental spaces. The ideas of Makerspace and Studio Space will provide plans for pursuing in 2015. It is reassuring to know that the ideas for implementation will be supported by academic research.

Another impact that the course has had is the addition of the social media elements which has enabled perception of new ways of viewing learning. Attempting to make my own thinking visible to others through the forum, as well as reading and responding to others has enabled a deeper understanding of some key concepts. I will continue with confidence, to apply this to my personal learning network.

Finally, throughout the course I have developed further understanding of myself as a learner. I have experienced many of the thinking and affective processes that I have observed in my students. The initial feelings of confusion when faced with new and conflicting information, the grasping of innovative and fresh ideas which are then clarified through discussion and collaboration or searching for a connection with previous knowledge and experiences have all been part of my learning journey. As a lifelong learner, this opportunity has been relished! Thank you Ewan, thank you. Judy.


Brown (2009) Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. HarperBusiness. p.37.

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.

Kuuskorpi, M. and N. Cabellos González (2011), The future of the physical learning environment: school facilities that support the user”, CELE Exchange, Centre for Effective Learning Environments, 2011(11), OECD Publishing.

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, September, 82 (3), 330–348.




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