I have worked and spoke with many HE and FE institutions from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and America over the last year and have discussed very similar issues with each when it comes down to getting the most out of their teaching spac such as “Teaching rooms are being booked and not used”, “When rooms are used they are being used inefficiently” and “The availability of teaching rooms does not match the demand”.
These are common issues that I believe most institutions share, recognise and are trying to address. But how are they addressing them?
What I have found is that each institution (both FE and HE) approach solving specific teaching space utilisation issues differently, some slightly, some very and each with a varying degree of success.
For example, as mentioned a lot of institutions suffer from the issue of teaching rooms being booked and not used. This is in fact a very significant and prevalent issue, often resulting in 100’s of hours of teaching space availability being wasted per week – see article “Are There Rooms Timetabled But Not Used”. However, do you know how others address this issue? Or do you know how big an issue this is for other institutions? Is there an acceptable level of rooms booked and not used? Are there proven successful and unsuccessful strategies?
Wouldn’t it be helpful to know the answers to these and many more related questions on teaching space management, when considering what strategy to put together in order to improve how your institution uses its teaching space? If you did, you could use other institutions experiences, guidance, successes and failures to build the best strategy for solving this and many other teaching space related issues at your institution.
As well as the Teaching Space Utilisation Surveys And Consultancy service I and Education Space Consultancy offer, I am now also launching a new type of online subscription service that will allow every education institution to share their results, experiences and skills as well as utilise my consultancy experience in order to work together to improve how teaching space is utilised – this service is called The Space Util Group.
This new service focusses on providing a range of tools that will allow each institution to share their experiences, learn from each other as well as receive my consultancy advice – all within one affordable package. In order to do this The Space Util Group offers 4 core service components:
The Community is the central point of The Space Util Group and provides an environment where members from around the world can discuss ideas and results, ask each other questions, network and work collaboratively in order to come up with new and innovative ideas for improving their space utilisation.
Each of The Space Util Group’s other services are supported by The Community enabling further discussions, questions and collaboration to take place.
The Peer Group Comparison service for the first time, provides institutions from around the world with a detailed teaching space utilisation report that compares each participating institutions results, by factors such as space types, days and timeslots, central vs department ownership, space norms and timetable vs actual utilisation. This service also closely links with The Community, Video Tutorials and Live Workshops enabling members to continue discussions, ask each other questions and work together in order to improve how teaching space is used.
The Live Workshops are all carried out online enabling institutions from around the world to be involved at the same time. Each workshop focusses on a specific space utilisation topic, with all participants able to be involved with the discussions and ask questions as the workshop progresses. By creating these live, interactive and online workshops the aim is to to use the collective knowledge of the group to find solutions and form best practice for different scenarios, questions and issues such as those raised within The Community or from the Peer Group Comparison Report.
The Video Tutorials offer a library of space utilisation information including concepts, practices, techniques and “how to” guides. These tutorials aim to provide a useful resource that can be watched at any time, to learn new skills or brush up on old. In addition to the Video Tutorials provided, each is accompanied by downloadable versions of any content used and/or links to resources referred to.
As with the other services offered by The Space Util Group, these video tutorials are closely linked and create a useful resource that aims to answer questions and relate to topics discussed via services such as The Community.
Each of these services will closely link with each other ensuring that every member is provided with the support and information they need in order to improve how teaching space is utilised at their institution. I will not only be creating many of the resources available but will also be a very active member, providing my advice and experience of teaching space management to those looking for help.
I am focussing this service on becoming a online resource of best practice that every institution can be a part of, ensuring everyone can have access to each others specialist advice and experiences of teaching space management. I am currently about to start trialling this service with several Universities, however if you are also interested in helping me trial this service I can offer a few more “free 1 year subscriptions” as a thankyou so please don’t hesitate to contact me.
If you are interested in finding out more about The Space Util Group please take a look at the new website (www.TheSpaceUtilGroup.com) or contact me directly, I would be very happy to discuss this new service further with you.
I hope you have found this article on “The Space Util Group” interesting and useful, I will be letting subscribers to the Education Space Consultancy newsletter know more about official launch dates as well offering early bird discounts, so if you are interested in becoming a member once this new service is launched remember to sign up to the newsletter!
All the best