Effective communication throughout the planning of a learning space is a key contributor to project success. Certain guiding principles apply no matter what project type or scale. These include communicating the overall process and where you are along the roadmap / what happens next, proactive and regular communication; using different means to communicate so stakeholder have different ways to engage; understanding our audience; reiterating key messages such as benefits and rationale; and listening to and acknowledging concerns as well as communicating successes.
To move beyond these best-practices, we have also created the list of internal and external communication tools below and provide guidance as to when to use these tools along with examples of them in use, where applicable. This is by no means an exhaustive list but can serve as a good starting point and we welcome further contributions and suggestions.
|Media||Why and When to Use||Examples|
|Project website||Central information resource on the project, including background information and progress updated. May include links to planning documentation, references, blogs, wikis, etc||University of Arizona Classroom Technology Upgrade Project|
|Project blog||Resource for posting ongoing progress and soliciting community feedback and commentary||Noel Studio for Academic Creativity at Eastern Kentucky University|
|Project wiki||Resource for posting ongoing progress, emphasizing community contribution and building a cumulative resource / history||NC State University SCALE-Up Initiative|
|All staff meeting||As an invitational event, can be a way to get information to everybody.||N/A|
|Review workshops with students, faculty, and staff…||A mechanism to get mid-course input and to keep the project in peoples’ minds.||N/A|
|Like in-person meetings, a “push” communication tool to ensure everybody has some level of knowledge about the status of the project.||N/A|
External communication with the local community, using tools such as newsletters and blogs, can help build community interest, laying the groundwork for future development initiatives. Conference presentations, website, and listserv posts can get your message out to a wide audience and help foster broader community interest in your project, spreading the word about what makes it innovative.
|Media||Why and When to Use||Examples|
|Newsletter||Longer form communication for regular project updates, often published in conjunction with other events||N/A|
|Project blog||Resource for posting ongoing progress and soliciting community feedback and commentary||Texas Wesleyan University, Classroom.Next Competition|
|Conference presentations||Presentations and workshops at conferences to share findings or progress, generally after the project or at key milestone during||Implementing and Assessing Physics Studio at MIT|
|Listservs||Project updates that enable sharing with broader communities of interest||Infocommons (by University of Binghamton|
|Short informational updates on project status to use in an ongoing way and announce / link to longer-form communication||Noel Studio for Academic Creativity at Eastern Kentucky University|
|Flickr||Project-specific photo sharing||University of Pennsylvania Weigle Information Commons|
|Website||Central information resource on the project, including background information and progress updated. May include links to planning documentation, references, blogs, wikis, etc||Ryerson University Student Learning Center|
|Central information resource on the project used for its integrated community-engagement features such as photo sharing, commenting, and “liking”||Yale Center for Science and Social Science Information|
|Guidelines & references||Reference information meant to guide the project through operations and implementation, or to inform a series of projects||University of British Columbia Learning Space Design Guidelines|
|Articles & whitepapers||Articles and whitepapers can demonstrate where your project has a more theoretical or longer-lasting impact.||Learning Environments: Where Space, Technology, and Culture Converge|