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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
- Writing a Data Management Plan
January 25, 2013
The University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries has created a useful page to assist in writing data management plans, which are now requried by funding agencies and are part of the grant applicat…
- Interactive Education: Impact of the Internet on Learning & Teaching
December 16, 2010
The site covers how to begin, how to operate, and how to make Web-based courses successful and enjoyable. The site covers how to begin, how to op…
November 12, 2010
Apps.gov is a federal government cloud computing site. Federal, state, local, and tribal governments will have access to cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings through the gover…
- University of Michigan Community Learning Centers & Sites
August 23, 2010
This university of Michigan web site provides a list of "community commons" in each residence hall. These comfortable spaces are reserved primarily for student study and are conducive t…
- Project Oasis
August 23, 2010
The Project Oasis program was created to provide students with places to interact, study, and gather between classes and during extended breaks. Since 2003, the program has transformed more than …
- Academic Integrity
June 23, 2010
"Academic Integrity" is a Cornell University web site that discusses the importance of academic integrity in regards to plagiarism and cheating. It includes videos and resources on copy…
- The National Repository of Online Courses
April 27, 2010
The National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) is a growing library of high-quality online course content for students and faculty in higher education, high school and Advanced Placement. …
- UC San Diego Energy Dashboard
March 31, 2010
Energy Dashboard is a project of the MESL Lab at UCSD . The goals of this project was to measure and record fine-grained energy usage data across the entire campus, from the both a top-dow…
- Clicker Resources at the University of British Columbia
February 4, 2010
This University of British Columbia web site provides some resources to help instructors use clickers effectively in a classroom. Resources includes; an instructors guide, videos, questions coll…
- DNSSEC Industry Coalition
September 15, 2009
THE DNSSEC INDUSTRY COALITION is a global group of registries and industry experts whose mission is to work collaboratively to facilitate adoption of Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and …