Creating Effective Environments for Collaborative Learning

I never try to teach my students anything, I only try to create an environment in which they can learn.”

— Albert Einstein

Although collaborative learning seems to be a relatively recent innovation, this interactive approach to learning was actually the norm centuries ago. In Ancient India, life and learning coexisted much like the student and his teacher, or guru, with every aspect of daily life presenting opportunities for learning. Likewise, scholars of Confucius, Muhammad and other well-known ancient teachers gathered as a group for a variety of interactive learning experiences.

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Culture Change: One Size Fits All?

If your profession involves senior care, you have undoubtedly heard the term “culture change” for the past few years at conferences and in numerous publications. Generally speaking, everyone agrees that culture change is a necessary and desired shift in the delivery of services and care to seniors. Developers advocate culture change. Design professionals support it. Retirement communities have incorporated the term and its concepts into their brands and mission statements.

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Acoustic Expectations

Building codes provide a reasonable level of safety and occupant comfort. Buildings are never “fire proof”, but they are built to provide a practical fire buffer, whether it be one, two or three hours. The same can be said of acoustical separation in buildings. Acoustics are a relative newcomer to building regulations, but the International Building Code does regulate how much noise should be allowed to transfer between residences. However, some noise should be expected in a multi-family living arrangement, and the Code recognizes this.

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Case Study – York College of Pennsylvania

York College of Pennsylvania
Willman Business Center

Project Synopsis

Formerly known as simply the “BA Building,” the newly renovated and greatly expanded Willman Business Center is one of the most prominent buildings at York College of Pennsylvania. In fact, the five-story, 32,297 square foot addition makes it the tallest building on campus. The project also encompassed 21,937 square feet of renovated spaces. Completed in time for the 2013 Fall semester, the updated facility provides nine new “smart” classrooms with seating for 40, a 150-seat lecture hall, training labs for students enrolled in finance and operations management courses and dining and event space for up to 300 people.

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