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Stanford Classrooms Reimagined

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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 continues 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 were involved in interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

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.

Project Timeline

Stanford Classrooms Reimagined Master Plan Project Timeline

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 and its recommendations 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 approved and funded by the President, Provost and Executive Cabinet

Leadership Team

Helen Y. Chu

Helen Chu 
Senior Director, Learning Spaces, VPSA Learning Technologies and Spaces

Sean Kennedy

Sean Kennedy 
Director, Audio Visual Design & Engineering

Bob Smith

Bob Smith 
Director, Classroom Innovation

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.

Key Project Partners

Special thanks to all our campus partners:

  • Schools & Departments
  • Land, Buildings, & Real Estate
  • Libraries
  • Residential & Dining Enterprises
  • VPGE
  • VPSA
  • VPUE

Contact Us

Do you want to share something about learning spaces with us? Do you have a question or comment? Email us at We want to hear from you.