Envisioning the Learning Spaces of the Future

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Virginia Tech

Envisioning Virginia Tech in 2047 requires an understanding of the ways in which the university may alter its physical landscape to adapt to the more metaphorically changed higher education landscape. The physical setting will be one reflection of the global land-grant mission at Virginia Tech. We must question the ways that the university of the future might be structured and where it will be located, such as looking at non-traditional delivery options and classes, and whether and towards what ends will there be a continued need for and investment in large capital projects. Shifts away from both geographic homogeneity and traditional course delivery present new challenges to all institutions. These institutions may seek to modify the university campus to best meet the needs of their changing communities and create new mechanisms for interaction and outlets for socialization for geographically-dispersed populations.

As higher education institutions look towards the future to evaluate which types of investments they will make in what facilities and towards what ends, several issues will likely, or at least should, be taken into consideration. This paper addresses some of these factors that Virginia Tech will need to consider in the coming generation in terms of the ways in which knowledge will be created and delivered and the physical infrastructure needs of the university community.