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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
- Next Generation Digital Learning Environment Initiative
September 17, 2014
Are tools that support teaching and learning keeping up with leading business and consumer tools? What would a next generation digital learning environment look like? Learning environments…
- 7 Things You Should Read About the LMS/Learning Ecosystem
April 22, 2014
The LMS/Learning Ecosystem refers to the online learning environment as a continuum, with the LMS at one end and a student’s or faculty member’s own collection of applications, tools, a…
- Educational Technology: The Hype, the Reality, the Promise
November 4, 2013
Key Takeaways Within universities, there's a growing tension between faculty , who typically focus on what is taught, and educationalists and technologists , who focus o…
- 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…
- A New Architecture for Learning
October 7, 2013
If we are to support students and faculty as connected learners and instructors, we must rethink our approach to academic technology architecture. At the foundation and core of that architectu…
- Higher Education: New Models, New Rules
October 7, 2013
What are the new rules that will accompany future new models in higher education? Three essays address this question by exploring state higher education policy, accreditation for non-instituti…
- Connecting the Dots: New Technology-Based Models for Postsecondary Learning
October 7, 2013
In the next decade, higher education, military and workplace training, and professional development will transform to leverage models based on emerging technologies that can make learning more…
- 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…
- Leveraging Collaborative Technologies and Pedagogies in Large Active Learning Classrooms
February 5, 2014
A session at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting
Multiple universities are exploring the potential of large active learning classrooms, focusing on collaborative, problem-based learning activities. Current models do not actively address the col…