SLU news

Outdoor learning environments take shape in Alnarp

Published: 24 May 2024
Model of a building made of cardboard

During the spring, students enrolled in the course Body and Landscape have been working on designing prototypes as part of an innovation project. The prototypes are scheduled for completion by the start of the autumn term, and construction is now in full swing.

For the past year, the project "Outdoor activity-based learning environments" has been ongoing. The aim is to explore how outdoor learning environments can be designed to support learning activities while maintaining or enhancing quality. This project is a collaboration between SLU and Akademiska hus and is part of their joint efforts to develop the campus.

"Developing our outdoor learning environments is an important and exciting piece of the extensive work being done to transform the campus into the green meeting place for world-leading education, research, and innovation that we aspire to be," says Sara Kyrö Wissler, project manager for campus development in Alnarp.

From idea to finished product

In the autumn of 2023, several workshops were conducted, bringing together expertise from teachers, students, property, and facility developers. Their ideas and different perspectives have served as the basis for designing the prototypes that will be used in teaching on the Alnarp campus. Arne Nordius, responsible for the course Body and Landscape, explains that the students have been involved in the project throughout the spring, tasked with designing and producing the learning environments. According to Arne, it has been a challenging yet important assignment.

"A challenge is that the prototypes must reach a certain level for teachers to take the step to use them in their teaching. At the same time, this must be balanced against the students' learning process, where they need to be allowed to test solutions that might not yield perfect results. However, there is great pedagogical value in allowing students to realise their ideas, build them, and then see them used in practice," says Arne Nordius, university lecturer at the Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (LAPF).

Inauguration this autumn

At the end of May, the students will present their work, and at the beginning of autumn, there will be a larger inauguration of the learning environments. Emma Brolén, one of the students on the course, has been working on designing and producing a prototype that will be located near Alnarpsgården. Watch Emma share her experiences about the work in the video below.


About the project and the prototypes

The innovation project is based on the question of what enables or enhances the quality of outdoor learning activities. The aim is to explore how learning environments can be designed to support learning activities while maintaining or improving quality. The project will use prototypes designed around various learning activities and the existing physical conditions at four locations on campus: Alnarpsgården, Agricum, the Lignos Collection, and the Annual and Perennial Collections.

The prototypes will be used in regular educational activities and thus can be evaluated from a user perspective.

Read more about the project.

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