Thursday, 17 October 2013

BROOKS, D.C (2010) Space Matters: The impact of formal learning environments on student learning. British Journal of Educational Technology 42(5) p719-726

Brooks (2010) emphasises that students learning outcomes are affected by their relationship with formal learning environments. He strongly believes that a strategy of improving learning spaces is that of technology; in comparison to a traditional classroom setting of tables, chairs and the teacher providing the aims and objectives of what needs to be learnt. Therefore highlighting the importance of redesigning classrooms in order to aid students in effective learning. 

Beichner et al. (2007) of the North Carolina State University of the Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) requires students to work in a pedagogical approach to learning by working in groups on large circular tables where they are encouraged to work as a group with laptops. They previously view the lectures online and are the asked to apply this to the SCALE-UP sessions and solve the problems given. 

Brooks (2010) therefore created a quasi-experimental design of comparing the results of students who were taught identical lessons of  a course but in two different learning environments that were far from the formal and traditional teaching style that they were used to. They were then compared to the traditional setting.

The findings of the study concluded that there were no significant differences other than an improvement in ACT scores, highlighting the positive impact on students grades.

The experiment concluded that the physical environment which students are learning can be instantly improved through the change in physical environment that of which they learn in. The added tool of technology also was proven as a positive outcome in comparison to the traditional formal setting that is conventionally used.

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