Update from APPA: New Learning Style Impacts Facilities Capital Planning and Management

July 21, 2011

By Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc.

Last weekend, I attended APPA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Atlanta. One of the major trends in higher education is in reaction to how today’s students are learning, working and living. This generation expects to significantly leverage technology while at college. This means viewing lectures via podcasts and the Web, taking exams online, and accessing resources from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Students are also using classrooms in different ways, with the emphasis on open learning spaces for collaboration.

The implications on facility managers is significant. This new approach means that they have to provide twice the learning space per student. Existing classrooms need to be converted to meet these needs, space needs to be re-purposed, and labs need to be flexible in terms of utility feeds and equipment. The amount of space needed and the way it’s being used means that an increased emphasis on running these facilities in an energy efficient, sustainable manner is also presenting a challenge to facility managers.

If you’re working at a college or university, how are you meeting the needs of today’s students?

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