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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
- Team-Based Learning: Small Group Learning's Next Big Step
March 8, 2010
CAUTION: Group assignments can and, all too often, do more harm than good. The most common sign of trouble is when students (especially the better ones) feel like they must choose between doing m…
- 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…
- Fall Focus Session 2009: Reflection and Discussion Guides
October 8, 2009
A set of reflection and discussion guides from ELI 2009 Fall Focus Session on collaborative learning, intended to help foster local discussion, reflection, and planning to assist in planning and …
- Fall Focus Session 2009: Collaborative Learning Scenarios
October 8, 2009
A set of challenging scenarios from ELI 2009 Fall Focus Session on collaborative learning, intended to enable brainstorming on the practical aspects of moving forward with collaborative learning …
- ELI Session: Creative Collaboration and Immersive Engagement â€“ The Hyperlinked Campus
February 16, 2010
Emerging technologies for communication and creation of content afford the possibility of the connected, "always on" educational environment. The Hyperlinked Campus is a model of open c…
- Taking Chances Together: Lessons Learned Leading Change with Our Learning Spaces
January 16, 2013
A session at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
This discussion will review where Penn State (Harrisburg) has been, where we are, and where the future will take the campus regarding how curriculum is delivered in the classrooms and how it is c…
- Learning Curve: Adapting Library Workspaces
November 17, 2008
© 2008 James C. Haug EDUCAUSE Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 4 (October–December 2008) Good Ideas Learning Curve: Adapting Library Workspaces Student insights and suggestions help max…
- High-Velocity Change: Creating Collaborative Learning Environments
July 19, 2005
This research bulletin describes how a group of individuals at the University of Kansas worked to design and implement a collaborative learning environment for students, based on theoretical and …
- Some of My Students Are Not Human! Avatar Interaction and Collaboration in Virtual Worlds
January 19, 2010
A session at the ELI Annual Meeting 2010
Avatars are used in virtual worlds to increase a user's sense of social presence. Into the virtual space we carry our sense of identity and race and tend to act out our real-life prejudices in…
- Collaborative Conundrum: What We Know About Group Work and Technology, but Often Forget (Research-Based)
January 20, 2010
A session at the ELI Annual Meeting 2010
In today's Web 2.0 world, students and instructors have access to a broad range of collaborative technologies for group projects, but successful group work is not just about the technology. In…