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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
- 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…
- Creating Shared Learning Spaces: The North Quad Experience
May 6, 2013
Key Takeaways The University of Michigan's North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex was designed to foster experiential learning opportunities and encourage gro…
- Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education
March 21, 2012
Randy Bass ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University. Comments on this artic…
- 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 …
- 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. …
- Making the Case for Space: Three Years of Empirical Research on Learning Environments
September 22, 2010
Key Takeaways Students attending classes in the University of Minnesota's new, technology-enhanced learning spaces exceeded final grade expectations relative to their ACT scores, sugge…
- Innovating the 21st-Century University: Itâ€™s Time!
February 4, 2010
Â© 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://dontapsco…
- Collaborative Learning Spaces at Missouri University of Science and Technology
March 26, 2009
By Angie Hammons and Lauren Brady Oswald Collaborative learning spaces support studentsâ€™ expectations of higher education by giving them better access to their instructors and ea…
- Using the PAIR-up Model to Evaluate Active Learning Spaces
March 26, 2009
By Aimee L. Whiteside, Linda Jorn, Ann Hill Duin, and Steve Fitzgerald The PAIR-up model takes advantage of interdisciplinary partnerships, assessment, innovation, and reevaluation of c…