Spring 2013

New website for landscape architecture students features multimedia online learning



Through a grant from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design (CED) has developed an innovative online learning resource called Paveshare. This website provides landscape architecture professionals, students and educators with a flexible, living, and robust resource for place making, environmental design and technical knowledge. This program was forged in response to a need in landscape architecture academia for increased design knowledge, creativity and technical competency with segmental concrete pavements.

The Paveshare website is developed on a foundation of multimedia and online learning educational theories. Its structure includes links to self-guided presentations with interactive animations and a growing studio project library that spans concept to construction. Faculty is encouraged to use the site to supplement existing curriculum and to encourage students to augment this living library by uploading their completed studio projects to the site. Students are encouraged to explore and interact with the site’s materials to become familiar with design and structural principles related to segmental concrete pavement, as well as industry technical resources.

Paveshare presents an open, graphic-driven, interactive, diverse and continuously changing online site that combines traditional and newer modes of learning that are sure to appeal to students of design. Familiar, self-directed learning formats such as presentations and quizzes are available to students, and are complemented by newer learning modes in landscape architecture, including interactive animations, tagged precedent libraries and an open contribution framework. Paveshare’s content team continuously cultivates site materials and acts as a vetting source for materials uploaded to the site, ensuring Paveshare is an adaptive environment. Users are also encouraged to post projects, photographs, and videos.

Browsing and contributing to Paveshare is intuitive and user-friendly. Users can browse by following learning paths or by using the library feature, which allows hunting for specific information by topic. All uploaded material is credited to the contributing author, so the desire to publish and share completed work, recognition for uploading compelling precedent project images, or class requirements will encourage students to contribute. The site also has links to and materials cultivated on several social media sites to foster cross-fertilization of knowledge sources and discussions.

The site functions as a comprehensive and constantly updating library of project precedents, design ideas and lessons, including specific interactive features that teach critical concepts specific to landscape architecture. Most importantly, these features have been made engaging and fun, especially when compared to the stuffy pages of Time Saver Standards familiar to most students. Paveshare complements studio methods and learning with features like design tools that help link abstract design and concrete materiality, which can be a difficult concept to teach while working on studio projects.

Through these capabilities, the wiki-based openness of the resource’s framework, and Paveshare’s social media portals, the developers hope that the site will ultimately reach a tipping point within student and faculty knowledge and social circles, and will become a self-sustaining, critical headwaters for integrating and expanding design inspiration and technical knowledge.

Related Links

Check out this video for an overview of the Paveshare website and how it works: