This Page includes resources we've gathered over the years. We've added many recent, fresh resources. Others are a bit older, relatively, but still useful. Pick and choose as you like. (last updated 2/6/14)

Useful, general resources | Evaluation Techniques | Several articles about learning space design, published via Educause | Design process resources: | Specialist Resources

(Jump to bottom to see "specialist resources" where you can add things you find in your "expert" area)

Required Readings

Useful, general resources


More on personas from the Neilsen Norman Group -
Nielsen Norman Group - Evidence-Based User Experience Research, Training, and Consulting

Evaluation Techniques

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Understanding Expectations and Mapping Preferences for Writing Classroom Design by our guest speaker, Dana Gierdowski and Susan Miller-Cochran

Studying Learning Spaces: A Review of Selected Empirical Studies

Book Chapter by Dana Gierdowski -

2014 – New Directions Issue >GET THIS LINK (or search for it via the SDSU library...)

Further, the OIT Research & Evaluation team is currently editing a volume of New Directions for Teaching and Learning (Volume 137, Spring 2014) that will explore the history, current research and best teaching practices in active learning spaces.

Active Learning

Queen's University Active Learning Classrooms (ALC's) -

Informal spaces

Several articles about learning space design, published via Educause

Design process resources:

The Planning Process
(NOTE: both articles below reference lessons learned from Frazee's work at SDSU)

• 10 Tips for Injecting New Technology into Your Campus, By Linda L Briggs, 03/26/08

• The ‘Duh’ List, By Katherine Grayson, 02/01/08

• Shared Decision-Making Process []


  • You might explore using Google Sketchup for modeling learning spaces.
  • Floor Planner
    This is a free online design tool - it renders your 2-D layout in 3-D. One user said, " is a neat website that is really easy to use. It's free for signing up and it has very beautiful pictures."

Design Decision Trees and More:
Cornell University Ergonomics Web
School Design Studio
Design Share
Nat'l Institute of Bldg Science-Educ. Facilities
Acoustic Design for Learning

Specialist Resources



Here is an interesting article and video on how nature is incorporated into learning spaces. I really liked how both of these talk about how exploration/some level of danger helps students learn. (contributed by Andrew)


Harkness tables??



  • Color in an optimal learning environment; Color in an Optimum Learning Environment, Dr. Willard R. Daggett, President, International Center for Leadership in Education, by Jeffrey E. Cobble, Executive Vice President and Director of Educational Design, and Steven J. Gertel, Senior Project Architect, Harvard Jolly, Inc., March 2008
  • Blue or Red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. By Ravi, Mehta, and Rui, Juliet Zhu- (2009). See article here.


The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing That People Use, also by

Technology planning

Here is an article on Technology Planning originally published in 1992, but still very relevant.
Future-Proofing Our Schools

Getting Funding

Job Aids To Support Users

Job aid for SDSU podium SmartClassPodium_SDSU.pdf

Lab Management & Administration Tools
This site features many management and administrative tools as well as links to design resources.