Skip to main content

Learning Spaces

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Technology Enhanced Learning

Abstract

Sociocultural accounts of education emphasise that learning occurs in and through mediated interactions with the world; technology in education mediates those interactions, and commonly strives to create distinctive experiences centred upon particular spaces. Yet, until relatively recently, most analyses have typically underemphasised those spatial aspects of how technology in education functions—how tools come to be used in particular spaces, to intersect and challenge spatially embedded practices, and might thereby be designed “with space in mind”. In this chapter, we set out some bases for a “spatial turn” in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research. We argue that those of us working in the field need to better understand both technology and learning as spatial phenomena; that we must better conceptualise the design of technology and the spatial contexts of use; and that we should become more directly involved in designing and evaluating Learning Spaces themselves—thereby coming to view space as an integral part of the “technology” that might mediate learning. We emphasise the difficulties in conceiving how space and learning are related, and sketch six different models that view the development of spaces and learners as intertwined in increasingly complex ways. We conclude by considering some particular types of Learning Spaces and related issues such as apparent informality and flexibility; by considering pertinent directions in research on the design and evaluation of educational spaces; and by celebrating some of those strands of work within the TEL research field that do already strive to account for the spatial implications of technology.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

eBook
USD 16.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 64.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • AMA Alexi Marmot Associates & Haa design (2006). Spaces for learning: A review of learning spaces in further and higher education. Edinburgh: Scottish Funding Council. Available from: http://aleximarmot.com/userfiles/file/Spaces%20for%20learning.pdf

  • Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2013). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment, 59, 678–689.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bielaczyc, K. (2006). Designing social infrastructure: Critical issues in creating learning environments with technology. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15, 301–329.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bligh, B. (2014). Examining new processes for learning space design. In P. Temple (Ed.), The Physical University: Contours of space and place in higher education (pp. 34–57). Oxon: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bligh, B., & Pearshouse, I. (2011). Doing learning space evaluations. In A. Boddington & J. Boys (Eds.), Re-shaping learning? A critical reader: The future of learning spaces in post-compulsory learning (pp. 3–18). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Bligh, B., & Sharples, M. (2010). Affordances of presentations in multi-display learning spaces for supporting small group discussion. In M. Wolpers, P. A. Kirschner, M. Scheffell, S. Lindstaedt, & V. Dimitrova (Eds.), Sustaining TEL: From innovation to learning and practice: Proceedings of 5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (pp. 464–469). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Börner, D., Kalz, M., & Specht, M. (2011). Thinking outside the box—A vision of ambient learning displays. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3, 627–642.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boys, J. (2011). Towards creative learning spaces: Re-thinking the architecture of post-compulsory education. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brooks, D. C. (2011). Space matters: The impact of formal learning environments on student learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42, 719–726.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ciolfi, L., & Bannon, L. (2005). Space, place and the design of technologically-enhanced physical environments. In P. Turner & E. Davenport (Eds.), Spaces, spatiality and technology (pp.217–232). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Cook, J. (2010). Mobile phones as mediating tools within augmented contexts for development. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 2(3), 1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crook, C., & Mitchell, G. (2012). Ambience in social learning: Student engagement with new designs for learning spaces. Cambridge Journal of Education, 42, 121–139.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dror, I. E., & Harnad, S. (2008). Offloading cognition onto cognitive technology. In I. E. Dror & S. Harnad (Eds.), Cognition distributed: How cognitive technology extends our minds (pp. 1–23). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Goodyear, P. (2008). Flexible learning and the architecture of learning places. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. Van Merriënboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 251–257). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hajrasouliha, A. H., & Ewing, R. (2016). Campus does matter: The relationship of student retention and degree attainment to campus design. Planning for Higher Education, 44(3), 1–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haller, M., Leitner, J., Seifried, T., Wallace, J. R., Scott, S. D., Richter, C., Brandl, P., Gokcezade, A., & Hunter, S. (2010). The NiCE discussion room: Integrating paper and digital media to support co-located group meetings. In E. Mynatt, G. Fitzpatrick, S. Hudson, K. Edwards, & T. Rodden (Eds.), CHI ‘10: Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Atlanta, GA, USA, April 10–15, 2010 (pp. 609–618). New York, NY: ACM Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harrison, S., & Tatar, D. (2008). Places: People, events, loci—the relation of semantic frames in the construction of place. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 17, 97–133.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jamieson, P., Fisher, K., Gilding, T., Taylor, P. G., & Trevitt, A. C. F. (2000). Place and space in the design of new learning environments. Higher Education Research and Development, 19, 221–237.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kaplan, F., & Dillenbourg, P. (2010). Scriptable classrooms. In K. Mäkitalo-Siegl, J. Zottmann, F. Kaplan, & F. Fischer (Eds.), Classroom of the Future: Orchestrating collaborative spaces (pp.141–160). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leach, M., & Benyon, D. (2009). Navigating a speckled world: Interacting with wireless sensor networks. In P. Turner, S. Turner & E. Davenport (Eds.), Exploration of space, technology and spatiality: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 26–39). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

    Google Scholar 

  • Luckin, R. (2010). Re-designing learning contexts: Technology-rich, learner-centred ecologies. Oxon: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mark, D., & Freundschuh, S. (1995). Spatial concepts and cognitive models for geographic information use. In T. L. Nyerges, D. M. Mark, R. Laurini, & M. J. Egenhofer (Eds.), Cognitive aspects of human-computer interaction for geographic information systems (pp. 21–28). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370–396.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neary, M., Harrison, A., Crellin, G., Parekh, N., Saunders, G., Duggan, F., et al. (2010). Learning landscapes in higher education: Clearing pathways, making spaces, involving academics in the leadership, governance and management of academic spaces in higher education. Centre for Educational Research and Development: Lincoln.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Malley, C., & Stanton Fraser, D. (2004). Literature review in learning with tangible technologies. Bristol: Futurelab. Available from: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/19/03/28/PDF/Claire-OMalley-2004.pdf

  • Oldenburg, R. (1999). The great good place (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ollman, B. (2003). Dance of the dialectic. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pallasmaa, J. (2005). The eyes of the skin: Architecture and the senses. Chichester: John Wiley. (Original work published 1995).

    Google Scholar 

  • Pérez-Sanagustín, M., Hernández-Leo, D., Nieves, R., & Blat, J. (2010). Representing the spaces when planning learning flows. In M. Wolpers, P. A. Kirschner, M. Scheffell, S. Lindstaedt, & V. Dimitrova (Eds.), Sustaining TEL: From Innovation to Learning and Practice: Proceedings of 5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (pp. 276–291). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Ruchter, M., Klar, B., & Geiger, W. (2010). Comparing the effects of mobile computers and traditional approaches in environmental education. Computers & Education, 54, 1054–1067.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sutherland, J., & Sutherland, R. (2010). Spaces for Learning—Schools for the future? In K. Mäkitalo-Siegl, J. Zottmann, F. Kaplan, & F. Fischer (Eds.), Classroom of the future: Orchestrating collaborative spaces (pp. 41–60). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Temple, P. (2008). Learning spaces in higher education: An under-researched topic. London Review of Education, 6, 229–241.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, H. (2010). Learning spaces, learning environments and the dis‘placement’ of learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41, 502–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vavoula, G., & Sharples, M. (2009). Meeting the challenges in evaluating mobile learning: A 3-level evaluation framework. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 1(2), 54–75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watson, L. (2007). Building the future of learning. European Journal of Education, 42, 255–263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watson, L., Anderson, H., & Strachan-Davis, K. (2007). The design and management of open plan technology rich learning and teaching spaces in further and higher education in the UK: The Report. Bristol: Joint Information Systems Committee.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, G., & Randall, M. (2012). The implementation and evaluation of a new learning space: A pilot study. Research in Learning Technology, 20. doi:10.3402/rlt.v20i0.14431

    Google Scholar 

  • Wishart, J., & Triggs, P. (2010). MuseumScouts: Exploring how schools, museums and interactive technologies can work together to support learning. Computers & Education, 54, 669–678.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Woolner, P. (2010). The design of learning spaces. London: Continuum.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Brett Bligh .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2017 Springer International Publishing AG

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Bligh, B., Crook, C. (2017). Learning Spaces. In: Duval, E., Sharples, M., Sutherland, R. (eds) Technology Enhanced Learning. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02600-8_7

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02600-8_7

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-02599-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-02600-8

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics