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Stanford Classrooms Reimagined

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Stanford Classrooms Reimagined image

A Master Plan

Transforming spaces for learning 

In 2019, the Office of the Vice Provost for Technology & Learning (VPTL) was charged by the University to develop a master plan for classrooms and informal learning spaces to inform learning space planning and design for the next decade. VPTL’s Learning Technologies & Spaces (LTS) unit became part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) on September 1, 2020 and will continue to lead the Stanford Classrooms Reimagined initiative.


We live in a globally-connected and rapidly changing world. Research shows that students today learn differently, and they increasingly expect to be actively engaged in learning both in the classroom and throughout campus. To best prepare and educate our diverse student body, Stanford is committed to adapting our teaching and learning environment, adopting research-based teaching pedagogies and creating flexible and dynamic learning spaces. Most Stanford classrooms were originally designed to support traditional teaching approaches. Those classrooms that are state-of-the-art, flexible, and technology-rich are consistently oversubscribed. Other classrooms and learning spaces are underutilized.

To meet the changing needs of our students, to address the growing gap between classroom supply and demand, and to optimize the use of existing spaces and resources, LTS has commissioned a Classroom and Informal Learning Space Master Plan Project.

Faculty, students, administrators and all major stakeholders in learning space master planning will be involved in interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Join us in this project. We want to hear from you.

Key Objectives

  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of formal and informal learning spaces.
  • Create new, updated guiding principles for campus learning spaces.
  • Develop a 10-year roadmap and capital plan for updating, retrofitting, and/or newly constructing learning spaces.
  • Create a foundation for an ongoing technology and provisioning roadmap.
  • Create a learning space advisory committee.
  • Create opportunities for ongoing feedback from students, instructors, and departments.
  • Conduct continual research on new models developed elsewhere.
Stanford Classrooms Reimagined Master Plan Project Timeline Graphic

Work on Stanford Classrooms Reimagined continues with a revised timeline due to the operational impact of COVID-19.

The shelter-in-place orders of early 2020 and a return to in-person instruction in the future provide new opportunities to reimagine Stanford Classrooms and informal learning spaces both in the short term and over the next ten years.

This strategic plan – which will be released later in 2020 - and its recommendations will incorporate strategic opportunities to lay a strong foundation going forward.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Meetings with stakeholders across all schools and university
  • VPTL Faculty Advisory Board presentation and input
  • Ongoing status updates and opportunities for input from key stakeholders
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Data Collection

  • Focus Groups
  • Individual Interviews
  • Faculty & Instructor Survey
  • Student Survey
  • Scheduling Administrator Survey
  • Registrar Scheduling Data
  • Classroom & Facilities Inventory
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  • Results from data collection
  • Examine effectiveness of existing spaces, supply & demand
  • Explore how spaces support student learning and engagement, factoring in flexibility, technology, and research-proven pedagogies
  • Examine needs and effectiveness of event spaces
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Preliminary Findings

  • Results of data collection
  • Factors impacting space utilization
  • Views on curriculum direction
  • Benchmarks and best practices from other institutions
  • Operational considerations
  • Additional feedback
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Final Report

  • Recommendations for a 10-year plan with optimal inventory of new and redesigned learning spaces
  • Creation of performance metrics
  • Management and scheduling policies and procedures
  • Communication to partners and stakeholders
  • Report sent to the Provost


Stanford last conducted a learning spaces needs assessment and master plan in 2008 (Auditoria Analysis Needs Assessment 2006 and Instructional Space Master Plan 2008). Some suggested improvements from these two studies were at least partially implemented, but many good recommendations were never implemented.

Since then, there has been significant evolution of teaching and learning methods. New learning spaces have been created including informal learning spaces and flexible learning spaces, but supply has not kept up with demand. A recent analysis of instructional space needs associated with the Graduate School of Education redevelopment project, as well as the work from the 2008 Instructional Space Master Plan, will form the foundation, along with this new project, of the new master plan. The consulting firm Biddison Hier will lead the stakeholder engagement process and conduct independent analyses.

Key Project Partners

Schools & Departments Locally owned and managed spaces include upgrade, maintenance, scheduling and programming
LTS Design, upgrade, technology support, and maintenance for formal and informal university learning spaces
Land, Buildings, & Real Estate Campus buildings and infrastructure
Registrar Space utilization, scheduling, and matching spaces to curricular needs
VPSA Leading design and programming of residential spaces
Residential & Dining Enterprises Operating and maintaining residential spaces

Leadership Team

Carissa Little

Carissa Little, Associate Dean, Global and Online Education, School of Engineering Executive Director, Stanford Center for Professional Development


Richard Webber

Richard Webber, Associate Vice Provost and CTO, Learning Technologies & Spaces

About Biddison Hier

Biddison Hier provides resource planning and management services nationwide to public and private institutions of higher education. The firm has been engaged in work with Stanford for over 15 years. Find out more.

Contact Us

Are you interested in being interviewed? Do you want to share something about facilities with us? Do you have a question or comment? Email us at We want to hear from you.