Educational environment influences students’ learning attitudes, and the classroom conveys the educational philosophy. The traditional college classroom design is based on the educational space that first appeared in medieval universities. Since then classrooms have not changed except in their size. In an attempt to develop a different perspective of educational environment, a new design of classroom, the active learning classroom (ALC), was established at SoongSil University in Korea. Two questionnaire surveys were conducted for diagnosing the educational effects of students’ learning in the ALC and comparing the results with those obtained regarding the traditional classroom. The result proved the existence of a ‘golden zone’ and a ‘shadow zone’ in the traditional classroom, which discriminate students’ learning experiences depending on seating positions. On the contrary, the ALC did not produce such positional discrimination. Students perceived the ALC environment as more inspirational, especially in regards to active class participation. Students with more emphasis on academic achievement showed greater tendency to share information and to create new ideas in the ALC. However, in the traditional classroom setting, only students with high GPAs were more motivated to learn while the gap in learning attitudes was offset in the ALC setting. In-depth discussions about research findings were undertaken and four suggestions were provided in support of school administrators and relevant institutional personnel, faculty members, and researchers for future utilization of the ALC.
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The insignificant level of the multivariate test for homogeneity of dispersion matrices (Box M = 3.86, p = 0.3) dispelled any concern that the variances in ALC and traditional classroom groups might not be equal. Thus, application of MANOVA was accepted.
As one of the MANOVA results (Wilks’ s λ = .94, p = 0.1) was not statistically significant at 0.05 level, there was no omnibus difference for sharing and creating ideas between the two classrooms. However, the result of the following independent t test was significant in ALC (F(1.76) = 4.85, p = 0.03), which indicated that students with higher EAA (M = 4.31) perceived ALC with significantly higher regard than the lower EAA (M = 4.05) group. The group who answered 3 (moderate, middle) were excluded for statistical purposes, which renders a clearer division of students’ propensities.
The insignificance level of the multivariate test for homogeneity of dispersion matrices (Box M = 1.38, p = 0.72) dispelled any concern that the variances in ALC and traditional classroom groups might not be equal. Thus, application of MANOVA was accepted.
As one of the MANOVA results (Wilks’ s λ = .95, p = 0.04) was statistically significant at 0.05 level, there were omnibus differences for students’ learning attitudes between the two classroom settings. In addition, the results of the following independent t-tests were significant in traditional classroom (F(1,126) = 6.54, p = 0.01), which means that students with high GPAs (M = 3.08) showed significantly better learning attitudes than students with middle GPAs (M = 2.8) in traditional classroom. Student GPAs were grouped into two clusters, ‘middle’ and ‘high’ for MANOVA test since the low GPAs were only marked by two students, which is not meaningful for statistical test.
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Park, E.L., Choi, B.K. Transformation of classroom spaces: traditional versus active learning classroom in colleges. High Educ 68, 749–771 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-014-9742-0
- Classroom design
- Active learning classroom
- Classroom effect
- Higher education