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University of Washington


University of Washington

Rickes Associates conducted a comprehensive study of utilization and policy pertaining to more than 300 general-purpose classrooms on the University’s Upper and Health Services campuses.

Widely considered a member of the informal “Public Ivy” group of universities, the University of Washington (UW) enrolls just over 38,000 FTE. As part of a team, Rickes Associates (RA) was engaged by the University to conduct a Learning Space Assessment encompassing 349 formall;y-scheduled general-purpose instructional spaces on its Upper and Health Sciences campuses, co-located in Seattle. A total of 306 of these spaces are located on UW’s Upper Campus, while 43 are located on the Health Sciences Campus.

A quantitative analysis of current courses and classroom utilization was complemented by qualitative findings gained through faculty and student surveys, user group interviews, and a review of best practices drawn from peer institutions. Throughout the process, workshops were held with the University-appointed Learning Space Assessment Task Force to gather feedback. Findings from the instructional space analysis informed classroom needs and guidelines, policies governing the scheduling and allocation of classrooms, and the physical and technological accomodations needed to support instruction.

Opportunities to reduce the classroom inventory on both the Upper Campus and Health Sciences were identified as a result of the assessment. Ranging from the implementation of a block schedule and an increased scheduling window, to the standardization of technology across instructional spaces, the twelve major summary recommendations captured the topics that would place UW among its peer institutions in terms of faculty utilization, hours of operation, and support for innovative teaching methodologies.