06 SES 09, Digital Learning Spaces: Hopes and Risks
Educational practices are influenced by a complex interaction between different factors of school life and changes in the physical environment can affect teaching practices in different directions (e.g. (Blackmore et al., 2011; Gislason, 2010; Grannäs & Frelin, 2017; Sigurðardóttir & Hjartarson 2016; Stadler-Altmann 2016; Veloso et al 2014; Woolner & Uline, 2019). With this as a starting point, this paper reports on a case study of a school development project in a Swedish upper secondary school. The project initiators (three teachers), wanted to change their teaching to become more student activity based, and as part of that change they designed and prepared a classroom inspired by the Active Learning Classroom (ALC) model (Baepler et al. 2016). In line with the ALC model, they furnished the classroom with round tables for groups of students, access to whiteboards, and digital facilities i.e. smartboards, interactive pens, projectors, and student laptop access. Hence, a design that implies collaborative work, communication and intense interaction. We employed a participatory design-based research (DBR) methodology to study the teachers’ school development project, concentrating on three phases: the exploration phase, the development phase and the evaluation phase (Holmberg, 2019). This paper focus on a selected sequence of three months of the development phase, exploring teaching in the shift from the traditional classroom to the active learning classroom with regard to possibilities and challenges for students’ active learning. The questions addressed are: What characterize the pedagogical practices in the traditional vs. newly designed classroom in terms of communication and interaction? What characterizes the pedagogical change? The analysis draws on a) video and audio recorded observations of lessons (N=15) in the traditional classroom and in the newly designed classroom, b) teachers’ individual evaluations of lessons based on pre-formulated reflective questions, and c) focus group discussions (N=3) on the topic ‘teaching for students’ active learning’. The data was analyzed using Bernstein’s concepts classification and framing (2000). Preliminary results indicate variations in outcome of pedagogical change depending on how the teachers worked in the traditional classroom. For example, when the students were unaware of working in groups and using digital facilities collectively, this led to challenges in the active learning classroom.
Baepler P, Walker JD, Brooks DC, Saichaie K, Petersen C (2016) A guide to teaching in the Active Learning Classroom. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing. Bernstein, B (2000) Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Blackmore, J., Bateman, D., Loughlin, J., O’Mara, J. & Aranda, G. (2011) Research into the connection between built learning spaces and student outcomes. Melbourne. Gislason N. (2010). Architectural design and the learning environment: A framework for school design research. Learning Environment Research, 13, 127–145. Grannäs, J & Frelin, A. (2017). Spaces of student support – Comparing educational environments from two time periods. Improving Schools, 17, 20(2) 127–142 Holmberg, J (2019). Designing for added pedagogical value: A design-based research study of teachers’ educational design with ICT. Degree of Doctor of philosophy. Stockholm: Stockholm University. Sigurðardóttir, AK & Hjartarson, T. (2016). The idea and reality of an innovative school. From inventive design to established practice in a new school building. Improving schools, 19(1), 62 – 79. Stadler-Altmann, U (2015). Learning Environment: The Influence of School and Classroom Space on Education. In: C. Rubie-Davies, J. M. Stephens, P. Watson (Eds) The Routledge International Handbook of Social Psychology of the Classroom. London: Routledge, p. 252-262.
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