Learning environments: what they are, types, and characteristics
These are the main learning environments, classified and explained.
Learning environments can be understood as any type of environment in which a teaching-learning process takes place.
Although this definition is true, this term acquires a more specific meaning related to the world of education, referring to any scenario voluntarily built to promote learning.
In the following, we will go deeper into what learning environments are, what are their elements, what types of learning environments are they, and what are the most important ones.What are their elements, what are their main types and what aspects should be taken into consideration when they are elaborated.
What are learning environments?
In its most generic sense, the learning environments are all the scenarios where the teaching-learning process is developed..
These spaces are built with the purpose of creating an adequate environment for students to establish a suitable relationship between them and the teacher, being elaborated to intentionally favor learning situations by actively organizing didactic resources, time and interactions that take place in them.
In recent years, the care and planning of learning environments has been gaining importance from the new pedagogical postulates, motivated by the belief that it is necessary to promote the active participation of the learner and the commitment of the educator. Achieving a good learning environment will guarantee that the contents taught will be acquired efficiently, comfortably and promoting meaningful learning..
Elements of learning environments
In any educational environment of this type we can highlight at least four elements: interaction, information, production and exhibition.
In a good learning environment, a relationship of trust is established a trusting relationship between students and teachersThe student-student relationship, with student-student as well as teacher-student relationships.
Information refers to the content that students are expected to acquire.. It also encompasses the directions that teachers give to their students so that they can learn more efficiently and, as far as possible, autonomously.
The term output refers to the product that each learner produces after acquiring knowledge and experience. It is evidence of how efficient the learning environment has been in facilitating the acquisition of knowledge both in the classroom and in any other environment where the teaching-learning activity has taken place.It is a proof of how efficient the learning environment has been, facilitating the acquisition of knowledge both in the classroom and in any other environment where the teaching-learning activity has taken place.
We can understand exhibition as any time a school gives for students to demonstrate what they have learned and how deep the learning has been. and how deep the learning has been.
Types of learning environments
As mentioned earlier, any environment that has been specifically designed for learners to acquire knowledge in a meaningful way can be understood as learning environments. However, these environments can be grouped into four typologies according to the degree of face-to-face presence, these environments can be grouped into four typologies according to the degree of presence (physical or virtual) and the degree of formality (formal or informal).
This is the physical environment that surrounds the students, mostly the school classroom. They are usually the fixed spaces where the students and the teacher interact with each other for a few hours..
Physical learning environments contain the resources that the school and teachers must adapt to ensure that students learn in the most efficient way.
Virtual environments are any digital environment in which a learning process takes place. It is a telematic way of teaching that can be done through computers, tablets or mobiles and any other electronic device..
This type of environment has the advantage that physical presence is not necessary to acquire knowledge, and this means that they are educational environments that favor autonomous learning.
Formal learning environments are those that have been developed by institutionalized and structured educational systems, applied in schools, institutes, universities and any other formal educational center..
These educational environments respect the regulations agreed upon by the country's educational bodies, mostly ministries of education, bodies that establish the contents for each educational stage, from preschool/kindergarten to university education.
Informal learning environments are environments where the individual acquires knowledge without the accompaniment of a teacher or curriculum. This type of environment is the one to which we are most often exposed, being our home, a museum, a zoo, a lecture or the street itself.They can be our home, a museum, a zoo, a conference or the street itself, and they teach us useful knowledge for our day-to-day life.
Aspects to take into account in your planning
Here are a series of aspects to take into account when planning a learning environment.
1. In-depth knowledge of the students
The teacher plays an important role in learning environments, especially in formal ones.
As the mediator that he is, he must know his students in order to know which direction his classes should take, since each one of his pupils is a student.The teacher must know his students, since each of his pupils has his own abilities, expectations, desires and interests. The teacher must have a deep knowledge of his or her students in order to work with them, not against them.
2. Spatial organization
Space is a very a very important aspect to take into account if an adequate learning environment is to be created..
If a classroom is used, it should be sufficiently large, well lit with natural light and well ventilated. It must be a place that invites to study and calm. A welcoming place is a place that invites learning.
3. Educational materials
In a formal setting it is essential to plan what content is to be taught throughout the course.. It is also necessary to foresee what materials will be required, such as microscopes, sports equipment, paints, sheets of paper, musical instruments...
4. Diversification of contents
The diversification of the contents is fundamental to facilitate the learning process. The teacher must resort to alternative strategies, using auxiliary materials that are attractive to the students.. Activities can be introduced that invite relaxation and fun, such as model making, group work, preparation of a lecture....
A good planning not only focuses on didactic resources that are appropriate, but also involves the daily life and social reality of the students to make the knowledge to be acquired useful and practical, so that the students can recognize its importance.
Importance of a good learning environment
Good learning environments awaken students' interest in learning.This makes them perceive the teaching-learning process not as a mere academic obligation but as a fun, motivating phenomenon that invites them to learn more. This makes learning become relevant, meaningful, associating it with pleasure and positive emotions that will contribute to the long-term retention of the contents learned.
If in the educational environment the student feels respected as an individual, being treated as a person whose point of view deserves to be respected and listened to and is allowed to ask questions without fear of being judged, the involvement in the educational process is even greater. In environments where children are free to ask questions and give free rein to their assertiveness, they learn more and learn better..
This is not an easy task, since it requires highly qualified, motivated and motivated teachers, teachers who are willing to make the effort to observe, analyze and put into practice various pedagogical methods. If this is achieved, the teaching-learning processes will be smooth, students will learn meaningfully and learning will be fun and interesting.