Emerging Evaluation Knowledge in New Generation Learning Environments
Source TitleEvaluating Learning Environments: Snapshots of Emerging Issues, Methods and Knowledge
University of Melbourne Author/sFisher, Kenneth
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
CitationsFisher, K. (2016). Emerging Evaluation Knowledge in New Generation Learning Environments. Imms, W (Ed.). Cleveland, B (Ed.). Fisher, K (Ed.). Evaluating Learning Environments: Snapshots of Emerging Issues, Methods and Knowledge, (1), 8, pp.165-179. Sense Publishers.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/LP130100880
There is a significant gap in learning environment discourse in connecting graduate attributes to affordances such as space, place, technology and pedagogy. Contemporary journals such as the International Journal of Learning Environments rarely include critical articles on aspects of the physical environment of learning communities (Cleveland & Fisher, 2014). Given the limited nature of emergent scholarly, peer reviewed knowledge related to the spatially oriented aspects of learning environments, any attempt to establish an effective research methodology to evaluate the impact of the physical environment on pedagogy and learning outcomes poses a significant challenge. But what is it that we are evaluating in new generation learning environments (NGLEs)? The continuing use of the term open plan (Waldrip, Cox & Jin, 2014) continues to be problematic if considered in the context of NGLEs. Alternative terms such as 'learning landscapes' (Lackney, 2015), technology enabled active learning (or TEAL, see MIT, 1999) and active learning classrooms (Whiteside, Brooks, & Walker, 2010; Walker, Brooks, & Baepler, 2011) denote a more nuanced 'take' on the terrains of learning. Added to this mix is the concept of 'open programs' that implies curriculum and pedagogical practices can be implemented over these open plans. It appears that the term open plan schools emanated from the 'open education' drive in the 1970s (Rodwell, 1998, p.103). A new conceptual language is needed, one that reflects the breadth of learning programs that can be carried out in spaces which are capable of morphing rapidly and organically to afford the spatial requirements needed to support a wide range of programs, pedagogical practices and curriculum needs.
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