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The introduction of information technologies into teaching and learning prompted educators to reexamine the spaces where learning takes place and to design new learning spaces that take fuller advantages of the possibilities that technology offers. The work done on learning spaces has been extremely valuable and serves as the foundation for an expanded look at other factors that affect learning and the context in which learning spaces exist. Those factors include space, but a broader look at the conditions and circumstances of learning reveals that learning is equally influenced by people, by technology and the resources it affords access to, and by the cultural backdrop against which learning takes place. These elements come together in a new, broader discussion of learning environments, which builds on the resources and knowledge generated about learning spaces.
The term learning environment encompasses learning resources and technology, means of teaching, modes of learning, and connections to societal and global contexts. The term also includes human behavioral and cultural dimensions, including the vital role of emotion in learning, and it requires us to examine and sometimes rethink the roles of teachers and students. The focus on information technology in education is expanding from the enhancement of learning spaces to include factors beyond hardware, software, and the network. The learning environment is a composite of human practices and material systems, much as an ecology is the combination of living things and the physical environment.
Articles and Reports
- Bridging the Gap: Building a Learning Environment in the Workplace, ELI paper, February 2014. Workplaces don’t typically look like ideal learning environments. That gap reflects a way of thinking that is being replaced with a vision of workplaces designed to be learning organizations. Closing that gap can be a challenge, however, and this paper describes nine elements of learning and explores how and to what extent they appear in most workplaces.
- The Connected Learning Environment, EDUCAUSE Brief, July 2013. This brief describes three hallmark characteristics of connected learning and provides several examples that illustrate each characteristic.
- Privacy Considerations in Cloud-Based Teaching and Learning Environments, ELI White Paper, November 2010.
- The following EDUCAUSE Quarterly and EDUCAUSE Review themed issues contain various articles on Learning Enviroments;
- EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010: Learning Environments
- EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2009: Student Engagement
- EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2009: Learning Spaces
- EDUCAUSE Review, Vol 44, No. 2, March/April 2009: Learning Spaces
- EDUCAUSE Review, Vol 40, No 4, July/August 2005: Learning Spaces
- Making the Case for Space: Three Years of Empirical Research on Learning Environments, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010
- Reflections on Play, Pedagogy, and World of Warcraft, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010
- Eight Simple Ways to Embrace the "Froom", EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2009
- Learning Environments: Where Space, Technology, and Culture Converge, ELI white paper, October 2009
- ELI 7 Things You Should Know About...
- Active Learning Classrooms Pilot Evaluation: Fall 2007 Findings and Recommendations, University of Minnesota, 2007. Report and Web Site
- New Learning Environments for the 21st Century, John Seely Brown, Aspen Symposium 2005
- EDUCAUS Learning Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting, "Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 World"
- EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2009 Online Fall Focus Session, "Flattening the Classroom: Building Collaborative Learning Environments"
- EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2008 Fall Focus Session, "Revisting Learning Space Design"
Conference Sessions, Videos, and Web Seminars
- The Future of Learning Environments, EDUCAUSE Video, July 2010
- Building Best Practices for Data-Driven Assessment of Technology-Enabled Learning Spaces, ELI Annual Meeting, January 2010.
- Stanford University's Wallenberg Hall: Looking Back, Looking Forward, ELI Annual Meeting, January 2010.
- Clickers and Peer Instruction: A Powerful Way to Improve Student Engagement and Learning, but Only If You Do It Right, ELI Web Seminar, October 05, 2009
- A Space of One's Own: Learning Environments Derived from User-Centered Discovery Techniques, EDUCAUSE Live!, November 21, 2008
- Guidelines for Implementing Authentic Tasks in Web-Based Learning Environments, ELI Web Seminar, November 3, 2008
- Creating Learning Environments that Promote Active Learning, Critical Thinking, Collaborative Learning, and Knowledge Creation, A Solutions in Action Webcast, September 21, 2009
- Powerful But Not a Panacea: Virtual Worlds as a Tool for Situational Learning, ELI Web Seminar, February 19, 2008
- Assessing What Students Learn in Technology-Based Learning Environments, ELI Web Seminar, September 15, 2006
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for Learning Environments
- BMI Business Model Template
February 25, 2015
rpkGROUP created these pro forma templates to support the NGLC Breakthrough Models Incubator grantees in their iterative development of business models that would support their current programs…
- RETHINK: Planning and Designing for K-12 Next Generation Learning
June 10, 2013
This toolkit from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is for K-12 district, charter, and school leaders to use in the ve…
- Timeline for Planning a Breakthrough Model School
May 23, 2013
This 15-month timeline from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) , Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) , and the Donnell-Kay Foundation attempts to…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Blended Learning Workshop Guide
November 16, 2009
Blended or hybrid learning, an instructional delivery mode in which instruction is conducted partly online and partly face-to-face, has emerged as one of the fastest-growing and most successful i…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Net Generation Workshop Guide
July 19, 2007
The ELI Discovery Tool: Net Generation Workshop Guide is designed as an action-oriented, modifiable resource for faculty development and other instructional uses. We have focused on the Net G…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Learning Space Workshop Guide
January 18, 2007
We know that space can affect learning—but how? The answer to that question depends not only on our understanding of how people learn, but also our understanding of learners. And, as informatio…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Applying Technology to Teaching and Learning
January 19, 2006
Individuals and institutions within higher education face a complicated array of technology options, with new technologies emerging all the time. How can you determine which technologies have val…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Guide to Blogging
August 10, 2007
The ELI Discovery Tool: Guide to Blogging offers practical information about how blogging can be used in teaching and learning and walks users through the important considerations for implementat…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Student Input on Learning Spaces Tool
January 1, 2006
The ELI Student Input on Learning Spaces Tool is patterned on need-finding techniques practiced at Stanford University's Institute of Design. It gives colleges and universities a structured …
- Learning Space Checklist
January 1, 2005
Denison University's checklist for learning space. Denison University's checklist for learning space. …