Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Replace Old Lecture Theatres with Energy Efficient Flexible Teaching Spaces

The Australian National University is conducting a public consultation on "How can we reduce ANU contributions to climate change?". I submitted a suggestion to Shift 80% of ANU Learning Online to Reduce CO2 Emissions, under the Behavioral change theme. But I was also asked to contribute suggestions to the Energy and buildings theme, so have proposed to replace lecture theaters with flexible spaces. 

Replace Old Lecture Theatres with Energy Efficient Flexible Teaching Spaces

ANU's older lecture theatres have tiered floors with fixed seats. These can be replaced with flexible classrooms suiting modern education techniques, and which are more energy efficient. Modern teaching techniques emphasise student discussion and teamwork, which is difficult to do when all the seats are fixed facing forward. The Marie Reay Teaching Centre in ANU's Kambri precinct, has flat floors made of engineered sustainable plantation timber, with furniture on wheels. This has been used for flipped blended learning (Worthington, 2020). As students undertake more study outside the classroom with this approach, less teaching space will be required, reducing energy use further.


Worthington, T. (2020, June). Blend and Flip for Teaching Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer Science Students. Paper accepted for the IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment and Learning for Engineering (TALE), 10-13 December 2019, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. URL

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