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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 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
- Creating a Fluid Learning Environment
October 13, 2014
Key Takeaways By 2025, mobile natives — students born after the Apple iPhone went to market — will be entering higher education , bringing with them an era of mobile l…
- The Other End of the Scale: Rethinking the Digital Experience in Higher Education
September 15, 2014
It is time to rethink the digital experience in higher education: we have a chance not only to reimagine our encounters with the large scale but also to embrace our opportunities at the other …
- ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013 - Infographic
September 18, 2013
ECAR has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2013, ECAR collaborated with more than 250 higher education institutions to collect responses…
- One University: Transforming the Student Experience
October 7, 2013
Key Takeaways The One University digital initiative is an ongoing effort to improve the student and community experience at the University of Oklahoma through innovative new …
- Learning Design, Objects, and Tools
February 5, 2014
A session at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting
Worrydream.com: Bret Victor and the Future of Learning Design W. Gardner Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success, Virginia Commonwealth University Bret Vic…
- The Annual ECAR Student and IT Study
November 12, 2013
A session at the EDUCAUSE LIVE! - The Annual ECAR Student and IT Study
The EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) conducts an annual study about undergraduates' technology experiences and expectations in higher education. The results of this study pro…
- If You Build It, Will They Come? Library Learning Spaces and Technology
November 1, 2012
Key Takeaways Like many institutions, the Shapiro Library invested in a space renovation of its lobby to support student learning by fostering collaboration, offering technology-…
- Leading the Student Experience: Super-Convergence of Organisation, Structure and Business Processes
April 27, 2012
This group of case studies from the United Kingdom organization, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, focuses on the UK higher education student experience. "The student experience …
- Library Spaces for the Scholarship Process
July 21, 2011
Gary E. Strong ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is University Librarian at UCLA. Comments on this article can be posted to the web via the link at the bottom of this page. The f…
- Teaching and Learning in Review: Insights from the EDUCAUSE 2010 Annual Conference
December 15, 2010
Key Takeaways A corresponding research methodology should accompany experimentation with emerging technologies in the current fiscal climate. E-textbooks must offer more than cost savin…