University of the Future: Using Design Thinking to Develop Constructive Utopias for the Spatial Turn

The effects of spatial turn and digitalization on future learning and teaching in higher education have been addressed in a design thinking workshop. Four prototypes have been designed to re-think learning scenarios, learning spaces, the support of lifelong learning, and the training of lecturers. The prototypes are partially utopian but can be used in a constructive way. The requirements of spatial turn and digitalization and design thinking as a method—including the developed prototypical ideas as well as the experiences of presenting the prototypes to all members of the university and using them as initiators of an organizational development process—are presented and discussed.

Bringing the Ivory Tower into Students’ Homes: Promoting Accessibility in Online Courses

With the growth of institutions providing online learning environments, administrators and educators need strategies to support students with disabilities. The purpose of this literature review is to identify optimal accessibility standards for meeting the needs of online students with disabilities. This article will share some helpful practices that could be used to create greater access for students. Some of the practices identified include universal design elements in the online environment to increase access for all students, accommodations for individual students, and authentic assessment. Future research should be conducted to evaluate these strategies and track the longitudinal academic gains of students with disabilities who receive them.

"Why Are We Doing This?": Using Digital Reflection to Increase Student Engagement

A frequent concern among any group of teachers is how to enhance learning by increasing student engagement, particularly in the secondary classroom. Although some argue that technology is interfering with student engagement, particularly in schools with a one-to-one device ratio and a “bring your own device” policy, the same technology that may offer individual distraction can be harnessed to address the issue of student engagement. Deliberate use of open-ended weekly reflections using Google Forms offers students an opportunity to interact with the curriculum and take ownership of their own learning. Questions such as, “What have you learned this week?” and “What haven’t you learned or are still confused by this week?” provide a virtual exit ticket, while questions such as, “Is there anything you want me to know?” offer students the opportunity to speak openly about group work, social concerns, and topics of interest to them, and the data collected offer teachers valuable insight for shaping pedagogy and deepening relationships with students. This paper will explore action research into this strategy conducted over two semesters with secondary students in a freshman English course at a Project-Based-Learning high school.