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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
- Improved Learning Outcomes through a Multimodal Text
September 4, 2013
Key Takeaways In a lab research study at Ball State University, Vizi Courseware's multimodal texts significantly improved student performance over traditional texts. In c…
- New Technology-based Models for Postsecondary Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research Agendas
June 3, 2013
This report is the result of a National Science Foundation-Sponsored Computing Research Association Workshop held at MIT on January 9-11, 2013. This workshop developed a framework for understan…
- Chapter 13: Providing Quality Higher Education for Adults
May 2, 2012
A chapter from Game Changers Susan C. Aldridge University of Maryland University College (UMUC) first opened its classrooms in 1947 as a special college at the University of Marylan…
- 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…
- 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 …
- Resolving Instructional Challenges in Blended Courses
February 5, 2013
A session at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting
In this interactive session, the presenter will introduce a protocol for improving blended courses; that protocol supplements the traditional "backwards design" process by helping instr…
- Learning Environments: Where Space, Technology, and Culture Converge
October 29, 2009
The introduction of information technologies into higher education added new dimensions to the educational enterprise and led to investigations into how the design of learning spaces affects teac…
- The Learning Space
February 18, 2009
The primary intent of this web blog is to provide an environment which offers mediated resources in teaching and learning, guidance in classroom design, instructional design, and digital media cr…
- Seminar 17P - Designing, Supporting, and Evaluating Active Learning Spaces PLEASE NOTE: Separate registration and fee is required to attend this seminar.
October 18, 2011
A session at the EDUCAUSE 2011 Annual Conference
Active learning spaces support teaching and learning in a technology-rich, collaborative environment designed to engage students in their own learning. McGill University has developed principles fo…
- Transforming the University: Teaching and Learning in Emerging Learning Environments
March 25, 2009
A session at the EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference 2009
More higher education institutions are embracing opportunities to encourage faculty to teach in emerging learning environments, and faculty are beginning to explore how they might utilize them to e…