Creating Learning Environments for a Hybrid Student Community
We recently worked with Cranfield University and GVAV on an exciting project. We fitted out a hybrid working space for a pilot programme of degree apprenticeships and courses in the newly formed MK:U.
MK:U’s first cohort of Level 6 degree apprentices are existing Santander employees studying for their Chartered Manager Apprenticeship alongside BAE Systems employees studying their Digital and Technology Solutions Apprenticeship. Future cohorts from employers in the region will study data science and cyber security, creating new jobs for school and college leavers, supporting career changers and helping existing employees develop new skills.
Degree apprenticeships designed with and for businesses are the central focus of MK:U. Learners will be offered exceptional flexibility to attend in person at the state-of-the-art facility in Bouverie House; or to join online; supported throughout by learning specialists, an expert apprenticeship team, excellent learning technology and facilities.
For this portion of the project, TOP-TEC were focused on specifying furniture for many areas. These included: video conferencing rooms, boardrooms, flexible learning spaces, hybrid working areas and breakout spaces for informal meetings.
Key Project Criteria
- Create premium spaces to attract high skilled candidates: Install high quality solutions that demonstrate the forward thinking and future proofing of MK:U.
- High-tech spaces: Provide a fit-for-purpose space for hybrid working, facilitating remote collaboration for students in and out of the classroom, whilst increasing the flexibility with students working from home.
- Flexible spaces: Provide solutions that would help encourage student interaction and presentation skills.
- Informal collaboration spaces: Implement flexible, manoeuvrable and easy to use screen solutions that encourage students to quickly set up breakout spaces.
Having worked with TOP-TEC on several projects in the past, Cranfield University were confident we could work together to help meet their vision.
Over several meetings between Dr. Ruth Massie (MK:U), Cranfield’s AV team & Sukh Basi (GVAV), we developed a series of 3D renders and technical drawings for the University to consider.
Furthermore, TOP-TEC engaged with members of IT, Estates and the academics that would be utilising our products to tailor our presented solutions to better suit their needs.
Attract High Quality Candidates
- “Create premium spaces to attract high skilled candidates – Install high quality solutions that demonstrate the forward thinking and future proofing of MK:U. ”
With the future of many workplaces becoming a blend of office based and hybrid working we helped MK:U present learning and working environments with forward thinking features. For instance, video conferencing, flexible layouts and technology integration to support this.
Our premium solutions can be integrated with modern technology. Therefore, ensuring a high quality outcome for aspirational student spaces.
High Tech Spaces – Hybrid Working Student Lab
- “Provide a fit-for-purpose space for hybrid working, facilitating remote collaboration for students in and out of the classroom and increasing the flexibility with students working from home.”
Our Contour & Rubi lecterns provide an ideal base for presenting. They allows enough space for the academics to comfortably sit or stand, while directing materials to individual groups or present to the entire room.
Each worktop shape is designed specifically for group work and perfect visibility during video conferencing. Our Synergy Blade helped create a collaborative learning space that facilitated the connection of a video conferencing system allowing hybrid learners to connect, maximising the numbers of students taking part in the course, in class and off site.
Informal Collaboration Spaces – Adapt Trolley
- “Implement flexible, manoeuvrable and easy to use screen solutions that encourage students to easily set up learning and breakout spaces.”
Our Adapt trolley was the perfect fit for the university’s informal collaboration spaces. Adapt is easily manoeuvrable and ideal for creating ad-hoc meetings and collaboration spaces in flexible open plan environments or breakout spaces.
Flexible Spaces – Switch 90
- “Provide solutions that would help encourage student interaction and presentation skills.”
The Switch 90 is an ideal solution for flexible spaces. It allows students to seamlessly switch between formal and informal presentation styles. Otherwise, it enables students to change how the group interact with the screen – in worktop (top down) or vertical orientation.
To begin with, apprentices were offered the options of Chartered Manager, Cyber Security, Data Scientist, and Digital & Technology Solutions. And, the first intake from Santander and BAE Systems, have already begun their studies.
The second, open intake, drawn from a wider range of businesses, have also started their courses, with the new facilities and furniture being put to immediate use. The benefits of the new furniture are becoming increasingly apparent as more and more students start their degree apprenticeships.
T: +44 (0)208 814 5950
“We are delighted with the new furniture for our degree apprenticeships. Our students are able to learn in a space that really caters to their every need and our academics are able to present the curriculum in a manner that enables and engages students. For MK:U this means more interest and support from high level businesses and ensures our future success.
The team at TOP-TEC have again provided the expert know-how and support that we have become accustomed to on previous projects. We look forward to working together again in the future.”
Dr. Ruth Massie
Associate Professor in Andragogy
Cranfield University (MK:U)