P. Aalto, O. Alsos, D. Haneberg, M. Steinert, D. Ege, I. Sivertsen (2023).  THE EFFECTS OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS ON STUDENT ACTIVE LEARNING. 975-988.

Student active learning has been shown to have a significant positive effect on learning outcomes as experienced by students. The learning environments where these activities take place are often simplified to describe the immediate surroundings during a short-term task. In this study, we have examined the characteristics of active learning environments that have emerged from a long-term culture of student and tutor participation in a mutual development of their surroundings.

We selected 3 technology study programs at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. These 3 programs have shown a significant positive correlation between learning outcomes and degree of student active learning as experienced by the students over time. We describe the spatial and temporal opportunities for the students to seek out surroundings that support the holistic learning activity at hand based on their own preferences.

We propose that environments that support student active learning in the context of wicked problems are fundamentally different from traditional and active learning spaces. Even though this environment can be established for a short while by a skilled supervisor, developing a long-term spatial response that nurtures a culture of student-active learning focused on wicked problems needs to consider a multitude of parameters that are rarely included in university descriptions of space needs. We show that these spaces are to a certain extent dependent on emergent behavior and resist attempts to govern them, re-create them strategically or to standardize their contents.

Our findings have implications for the design of learning spaces and advocate nurturing active learning social groups as they emerge through culture, rather than a simplified description of special needs in developing learning spaces.

Authors (New): 
Pasi Aalto
Ole Andreas Alsos
Dag Håkon Haneberg
Martin Steinert
Daniel Ege
Ingrid Berg Sivertsen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
Nord University, Bodø, Norway
Student active learning
learning environments
CDIO Standard 6
CDIO Standard 8
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