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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
- 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 Magazine themed issues contain various articles on Learning Enviroments;
- 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
- The Mixxer
October 7, 2013
Key Takeaways Modern languages and global education are strengths of Dickinson College, making new and more effective tools for teaching language of vital interest to the facul…
- Leveraging Collaborative Technologies and Pedagogies in Large Active Learning Classrooms
February 5, 2014
A session at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting
Multiple universities are exploring the potential of large active learning classrooms, focusing on collaborative, problem-based learning activities. Current models do not actively address the col…
- 7 Things You Should Know About Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem
May 2, 2012
The LMS was once the undisputed center of the digital learning ecosystem . But on many campuses, the situation has changed such that the campus online learning environment might be better v…
- Lessons Learned from Adopting Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning in Oman
December 15, 2011
Key Takeaways Traditional teaching methods in the Middle East have not prepared graduates for work in the 21st century. Computer-supported collaborative learning can incr…
- Mixable: A Mobile and Connected Learning Environment
March 29, 2011
Key Takeaways Students increasingly turn to social networks to enable coursework discussions outside of class , a factor that promotes their academic engagement and success. A ne…
- Wikify Your Course: Designing and Implementing a Wiki for Your Learning Environment
September 22, 2010
Key Takeaways Wikis help engage students in their learning while providing social interaction with their peers in the learning process. A wiki assignment should enable students to work …
- Transforming Teaching in High-Tech, Collaborative Learning Environments with Critical Reflection
September 22, 2010
Key Takeaways Teaching in high-tech learning environments that center on collaboration and team-based learning often requires a complete course redesign and great deal of faculty time. …
- 7 Things You Should Know About Privacy in Web 2.0 Learning Environments
September 7, 2010
New media, social networking, collaboration sites, image and video-sharing sites, wikis, and blogs offer tremendous teaching and learning opportunities to educators and students, but their use ra…
- ELI Discovery Tool: Guide to Collaborative Learning
June 1, 2010
Although there is much variation on the definition of collaborative learning, it typically refers to a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Put diff…
- Innovating the 21st-Century University: It’s Time!
February 4, 2010
© 2010 Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 45, no. 1 (January/February 2010): 16-29 Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams Don Tapscott ( http://dontapscott…