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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
- 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
- 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…
- Can the Current Model of Higher Education Survive MOOCs and Online Learning?
October 7, 2013
Not all U.S. colleges and universities will disappear as a result of new technologies, but clearly some will. If higher education institutions embrace the status quo, they will no longer be in…
- The Physics and Meaning of Flight: A Case Study in Student-Centered Learning Across Institutions
October 7, 2013
Key Takeaways The U.S. Air Force Academy and Colorado College, a small, private liberal arts institution, collaborated on a physics course on aircraft design with students from b…
- One University: Transforming the Student Experience
October 7, 2013
Key Takeaways The One University digital initiative is an ongoing effort to improve the student and community experience at the University of Oklahoma through innovative new …
- 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…
- Overcoming Obstacles in Online Learning: Best Practices for Digital Badges in Higher Ed
February 11, 2014
A session at the EDUCAUSE Connect: Portland
Join us to discuss and learn about the potential of digital badges to facilitate learning and address learning competency transfer issues in an online higher education environment as well as thei…
- 7 Things You Should Read About Flipped Classrooms
August 7, 2013
These resources explore the flipped classroom as a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements are reversed. The flipped-classroom approach draws on such concepts as …
- The Connected Learning Environment
July 29, 2013
Connected learning environments are changing education, student engagement, and college completion. While e-learning often connotes delivery of information in a sequential, linear fashion, th…
- Design Thinking: Theory and Practice
July 25, 2013
When the phrase " design thinking " is heard, it's often assumed that you have to be a designer or artist to "do it." Actually, it is not just for designers but for any…
- The Connected Learning Environment in Higher Education
July 30, 2013
“The ‘e’ in e-learning initially meant electronic. Now it means everyone and everywhere. It means effective and engaged experiences. It means experiential. Now we’re talking about the con…