The University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Libraries has set aside space and stocked it with treadmill desks, standing desks, cycling desks and balance chairs to encourage physical activity while using library space to promote active learning. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of this innovative space on library users through a study conducted by a research team using observations and short surveys to gather information about usage trends and user perceptions of this “active learning space.”
This study used both ethnographish observation and self-selected survey. Researcher observation notes were used to gather usage rates of the space and equipment in the space, and survey responses were coded for themes to identify user perceptions around the space.
The findings strongly suggest that users find mental and physical health value in the “active learning space” and many would find value in the expansion and improvement of the space.
The limitations of this study include a shorter observation period compared to the survey collection period and limited demographic collection to shorten the survey instrument.
However, this study was able to assess how an active learning space in an academic library can influence and have a significant impact on student success.
This research project is a component of the IMLS-funded Experience-Assessment (UX-A) cohort. UX-A leverages an interdisciplinary team and robust facilities to provide education and experience to future leaders in library assessment and user experience testing at the University of Tennessee.
Clement, K.A., Carr, S., Johnson, L., Carter, A., Dosch, B.R., Kaufman, J., Fleming-May, R., Mays, R. and Walker, T. (2018), "Reading, writing, and … running? Assessing active space in libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 166-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-03-2018-0011
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