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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
- Engaging Alumni and Students Using Online Education Technology
November 9, 2015
Small, undergraduate liberal arts colleges like Colgate University can take advantage of technologies used in MOOCs (traditionally offered by larger research universities) to create limited, priv…
- iPad-Enabled Curriculum in a Graduate Program
October 12, 2015
This case study examined student satisfaction with Apple iPad technology in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. The iPad proved effective in…
- Digital Game-Based Learning: Still Restless, After All These Years
October 12, 2015
We have the evidence and the design tools to demonstrate that digital games are powerful learning tools. Whether we choose to take advantage of the opportunity before us is a completely different…
- Promoting Engagement in Larger Classes
August 17, 2015
Faced with a large number of students, I soon realized that I would not know what they didn't know until after the first exam and that my learning management system (LMS) did not provide me …
- Student Engagement and Interaction
Student Engagement and Interaction True Student Engagem…
- Educational Technology and Faculty Development in Higher Education
June 15, 2015
Assisting faculty with the instructional integration of information technology and the optimization of technology in teaching and learning are enduring themes in the top 10 IT issues in highe…
- Online Students Develop Marketable Professional Skills
July 6, 2015
Key Takeaways Students preparing to take online courses anticipated gaining professional skills in addition to their online learning of the course content. A survey …
- A Breakthrough Game Design for Student Success
June 8, 2015
By: Victoria (Tori) Mondelli 2010 was a good year. Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) was founded as an education reform initiative, and I discovered the value of l…
- Engaging Students with a Mobile App
March 30, 2015
Key Takeaways Engaging first-year students in positive experiences can set the tone for the remainder of their educational careers. A major element of engagement is the soci…
- Examining the Student Experience Using Service Blueprinting
April 13, 2015
Students often face problems accomplishing their goals because colleges and universities have poor processes. Service blueprinting, a type of process map, focuses on the student (or customer) …