Designing and using informal learning spaces to enhance student engagement with mathematical sciences.
By helping create a shared, supportive, learning community, the creative use of custom designed spaces outside the classroom has a major impact on student engagement. The intention is to create spaces that promote peer interaction within and across year groups, encourage closer working relationships between staff and students and support specific coursework activities - particularly group work. Such spaces make better use of time since students are motivated to stay and work during long gaps in their timetable, provide a sense of 'home' within the institution and can lead to a cohesive community of practice. We describe how this has been achieved and currently delivered in Mathematics at Sheffield Hallam University and provide evidence for its success.
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