Listicle about Learning Environments

6 things you should know about Learning Environments


1. Definition of Learning Environment (LE)

"Learning Environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which we learn. Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom, which has more limited and traditional connotations—a room with rows of desks and a chalkboard, for example.

The term also encompasses the culture of a school or class—its presiding ethos and characteristics, including how individuals interact with and treat one another—as well as the ways in which teachers may organize an educational setting to facilitate learning…..

Detailed description can be found at "The Glossary of Education Reform – for Journalist, Parents, and Community Members"

(Source: https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/5-2-what-is-a-learning-environment/ and https://www.edglossary.org/learning-environment/)

2. Physical location of the learning process

Free stock photo of people, school, blur, tablesFree stock photo of school, old, board, learning

Learning environments have been rapidly changing. There is a growing number of different settings and environments in which learning can take place, such as, 

  • in classrooms, 
  • double-deckers
  • in museums, 
  • in theatres, 
  • open spaces, 
  • on field trips outside-of-school locations 
  • etc. 

(Further readings: https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/gallery/2013/may/14/inspiring-school-architecture-environments)

3. Carefully designed LEs

Since teachers’ aim is to make learning as effective as possible, their aim is to create an environment for learning that optimises the ability of students to learn. Since learning environments have both a direct and indirect influence, or respectively positive and negative influence on our learning, teachers need to carefully choose it or design it taking into consideration different things such as: 

  • aims and goals of education, 
  • students’ characteristics (e.g. age, cognitive skills, learning strategies etc), 
  • available resources,
  • etc.

4. Some LE elements and their impact

The following learning environment elements can impact classroom instruction:

  • Physical setting,
  • Psychological environment,
  • Cognitive environment.

Here is a list of some other elements: 

  • aims and objectives of education, 
  • location of school, 
  • culture and climate of the school, 
  • classroom design, 
  • teacher characteristics,
  • teaching practice, 
  • classroom disciplinary climate, 
  • access to resources, 
  • colour, light, 
  • desk and seating arrangement, 
  • temperature, 
  • sound, 
  • wall decoration,
  • etc.

An effective learning environment should be: 

  • healthy, 
  • secure, 
  • protective, 
  • inspiring and 
  • adapted.

5. Digital LE

business, businessmen, classroom

Learning environments can be classified into different types using various criteria as you can see above. 

Thus, we can differentiate traditional or face-to-face learning environments, digital learning environments, and blended learning environments.

Types of learning environments

"Digital learning environments (DLEs) are technical solutions for supporting learning, teaching and studying activities. A digital learning environment can be educational software, a digital learning tool, an online study program or a learning resource. A digital learning environment may thus consist of a combination of different technical solutions."

(Source: http://epublications.uef.fi/pub/urn_isbn_952-458-663-0/ and https://www.j-ets.net/ETS/journals/9_3/5.pdf)

Although, traditional learning environments are – among others -much less media-rich than digital learning environments, they also have advantages (e.g. the possibility of interaction with teachers and class mates).

Examples of digital LE:

  • an LMS (Learning Management System), like Moodle, Ilias, Co-space, etc.
  • a CBT/CBE (Computer Based Training/Computer Based Education) software,
  • the Wikipedia,
  • YouTube,
  • OERs (Open Educational Resources),
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Educational Courses).

6. Blended LE

Blended learning is a continuing convergence of two learning environments and combine:

  • different instructional methods,
  • different delivery media, and
  • online learning and face-to-face instruction.

You can find further information here:

Last modified: Friday, 11 May 2018, 3:39 PM