Instructional Science

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 213–226 | Cite as

New Learning Environments and Constructivism: The Students’ Perspective

  • David Gijbels
  • Gerard van de Watering
  • Filip Dochy
  • Piet van den Bossche


Research into students’ perceptions of their learning environments reveals the impact of these perceptions on the way students cope with these learning environments. Consequently, students’ perceptions affect the results of their learning. This study aims to investigate whether students in a new learning environment (NLE) perceive it to be more constructivist when compared with the perceptions students have of a conventional lecture-based environment. Using a questionnaire consisting of seven key factors of constructivist learning environments, the results show that students in the NLE perceive it to be more constructivist when compared to the perceptions of students in a conventional lecture-based environment. The difference was statistically significant for four of the seven factors. According to the effect size, as measured by the d-index, the difference in perception between the two groups was greatest for the factor ‘conceptual conflicts and dilemmas’.


constructivism higher education students’ perceptions 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Gijbels
    • 1
  • Gerard van de Watering
    • 2
  • Filip Dochy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Piet van den Bossche
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for the Science of Education and Information (IOIW)University of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Education Innovation and Information Technology (EDIT)University of MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Research Centre for Trading and Training MethodologyUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Educational Development and ResearchUniversity of MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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