Current approaches to learning within art and design tertiary education have evolved as a result of a changing sector, economy and diverse student population. Traditional teaching and learning methods have been increasingly complemented with flexible learning spaces/resources that enhance the learners experience both inside and outside the classroom. The use of digital technologies to engage and support students in the student learning experience  to facilitate elements of that engagement (Race, 2011; Brindley, 2011). The opportunity they provide allows self-directed exploration by the student and aims to be both motivational and informative. But what do the students think?

I was awarded a Higher Education Academy Individual Teaching Development Grant in 2012 for this project  entitled 'Colouring Between the Lines: the impact of flexible learning spaces on first year art and design students attitudes to their learning experience within HE'. 

Scroll down to read information on the Project Aims, What the Students thought, Findings and Blogposts.

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project aims

This project aimed to evaluate the impact of flexible learning spaces on student attitudes to their learning experience.

Does the use of flexible learning spaces promote confidence and ultimately competence?

How much has this change, if any, been facilitated by embedding technologies into the curriculum design to enhance learning?

As educators what do we need to hear that will inform our future approaches to and implementation of flexible learning strategies? 


dissemination activities

O'Boyle, Louise (2014) 'Colouring Between the Lines' Project Presentation at Higher Education Academy awards day, disseminating innovative practice, impact & networking – RIPE (research, impact, pedagogy & engagement) series. In: HEA AWARDS DAY, DISSEMINATING INNOVATIVE PRACTICE, IMPACT & NETWORKING – RIPE (RESEARCH, IMPACT, PEDAGOGY & ENGAGEMENT) SERIES, Edinburgh and York. Higher Education Academy.

O'Boyle, Louise (2013) Colouring between the Lines, Paper Presentation at 'GLAD Conference: Start, sustain, succeed – art and design education in the new policy landscape', 24th April 2013, University for the Creative Arts, Surrey. In: GLAD CONFERENCE: START, SUSTAIN, SUCCEED – ART AND DESIGN EDUCATION IN THE NEW POLICY LANDSCAPE, University for the Creative Arts, Surrey. Group for Learning in Art and Design

O'Boyle, Louise (2013) Colouring Between the Lines, Paper Presentation at 'Storyville: Exploring narratives of learning and teaching', The 2nd Annual HEA Arts & Humanities Conference, 29th-30th May 2013, Brighton. In: STORYVILLE: EXPLORING NARRATIVES OF LEARNING AND TEACHING. THE 2ND ANNUAL HEA ARTS & HUMANITIES CONFERENCE, Brighton. Higher Education Academy.

O'Boyle, Louise (2013) Colouring Between the Lines, CHERP Ulster University, Festival of Innovative Practice, Magee Campus, 18th June 2013 ‘Pecha Kucha’ Presentation. In: CENTRE OF HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH AND PRACTICE (CHERP) ‘FESTIVAL OF INNOVATIVE PRACTICE’, UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER, MAGEE CAMPUS. CENTRE OF HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH AND PRACTICE


student views on flexible learning 

Below are some visual responses to the impact flexible learning resources can have on student learning experiences, created by first year HE art and design students. 

[ Video by Daryl Randall. Images by Shane Finnegan, Megan Houston, Daryl Randall and Matthew Spratt. ]

Whether you are a student, member of teaching or support staff your views on supporting learning are really valued. Please take a few minutes to complete the short questionnaire.


project findings (2012-13)


CBL project blogposts