University of Washington

Learning Space Assessment
University of Washington W

University of Washington

Learning Space Assessment


The University of Washington (UW) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1861, UW encompasses over 500 building with over 20 million square feet of space and has more than 45,000 students.

A UW faculty and staff task force was charged by the University Provost to guide a concise and comprehensive review of classroom needs in light of changing instructional methodologies.

Vantage, ZGF Architects and Rickes Associates were brought in to conduct the study and make recommendations for defining opportunities for improved delivery of learning space options focused on supporting faculty and diverse pedagogical initiatives, and enhancing student experience with integrated and appropriate technologies.

The study evaluated utilization rates, scheduling practices, technology deployment and policies and the physical condition of classroom spaces. The analysis was structured with four multi-day on-campus workshops supplemented with tours, facility and student surveys, follow-up conference calls and data exchanges.

Key insights and areas of focus included:

  • Emerging pedagogies at UW as a basis for new modalities, classroom configurations and technologies
  • Capacity issues for wired and wireless network access in teaching and learning rooms
  • Access for effective interaction with central systems and application servers
  • Room-by-room ranking of classroom condition and technology cross referenced with room utilization and other important institutional characteristics
  • Identification of deferred maintenance issues, resource inefficiencies and the upgrade strategies and policies need to address them
  • Peer review of equivalent classroom technology conditions and IT best practices


  • Defined the establishment of a Classroom Governance Committee to enhance coordination between learning environment stakeholders and to develop and oversee strategic policies
  • Identified the need to create departmental requirements and incentives to schedule courses during off-peak times
  • Created a vision for “right-size” classrooms by adding or removing seats in existing classrooms
  • Recommended allocation of regular funding for strategic technology and room renovations


  • Strategic Planning
  • Facilitated Workshops and Visioning Sessions
  • Technology Program Development
  • Standards Development
  • Financial Modeling and Assessment
  • System Assessment & Planning
  • Benchmarking and Peer Review


  • IT Systems Selection and Management
  • Audiovisual Presentation
  • Videoconference & Distance Learning
  • Interactive Classroom Technologies
  • Lecture Capture
  • Learning Management Systems
  • Broadcast System Automation
  • Client: University of Washington
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Project Type: Education
  • Services: Classroom Technology Assessment and Master Plan
  • Architect: ZGF Architects
  • Consultant: Rickes Associates