Collaborative spaces are rapidly gaining momentum in higher education. With that said, didactic pedagogies aren’t going away any time soon. If nothing else, the classroom of the future needs a space to record presentations for students to stream later as part of a flipped classroom approach.
In collaborative classrooms, one factor that often requires less consideration is lighting. You frequently don’t have a dedicated “presenter location” to highlight.
What’s more, you’re typically using traditional flat panel displays, rather than projection because students are in small groups and can be closer to individual displays. In some cases, there may be a main display for everyone to view at some points, but in many cases, ceiling height prohibits a single screen of sufficient size to be seen from every seat.
With these concepts in mind, this article will cover a subject that is possibly the only technology aspect of presentation spaces that requires more design consideration than in collaborative spaces – higher education auditorium lighting.
The whole challenge of lighting a higher education presentation space comes down to a tradeoff between providing sufficient light for note taking, versus projecting a high quality image. Why is this only an issue in presentation spaces?
Presentation spaces are typically large and allow every student to focus on an instructor and one or more screens at the front of the room. Every student in the room needs to be able to view these displays, so they need to be large (to be visible to those in the back of the room).