Learning Spaces and its influence
The “Space and Consequences: The Impact of Different Formal Learning Spaces on Instructor and Student Behavior” article is a presentation of a research project that was quasi-experimental, which investigated the significance of a traditional classroom versus that of a technologically-equipped active learning classroom on the behavior of instructors, class activities and the behavior of students. The study on which this journal article was based on took place at the University of Minnesota and was conducted by D. Christopher Brooks, a Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota. The consequent research article was published in 2012, in the Journal of Learning Spaces.
The research involved time-series data that was collected during observations of classrooms at the university, with a focus on four major groups of variables which are; classroom activities, the behavior of instructors, behavior of students and the delivery modes used to deliver content (Brooks). The time-series data was collected using methods like interviewing faculty members, logs of course assignments, survey of students, photo surveys, focus groups and class observations (Brooks). These methods of data collection helped provide systematic evaluations of a range of examinable hypotheses in relation to the bigger research question (Brooks). Brooks provides an example of one of the methods of data collection, in which Brooks observed a class of an introductory biology course. In this method of data collection, one instructor offered two offerings of the same course to different sections of students. One section of the course was taught in an ALC (Active Learning Classroom) and another in a traditional classroom with a whiteboard, instructor podium and projection screen (Brooks).
Already, it has been established than flexible, technologically-enhanced classroom spaces were essential in boosting the performance of students, through the measure of course grades. However, this research, in particular, goes beyond these already established facts and explains exactly how these learning spaces matter (Brooks).
The research article embraces a unique and helpful approach by exploring a dimension of learning spaces that has not been examined before, by showing exactly how technologically-enhanced classroom spaces are better than traditional classrooms and exactly how they improve the performance of the students (Brooks). The research article further adopts the correct format, explaining in a clear, logical and well-arranged format the basis for the research, how it was conducted, its findings and other relevant information. The research article achieves this through the use of subsections, such as ‘Introduction’, ‘Literature Review’, ‘Data and Methods’, ‘Analysis’ and ‘Conclusion’. This makes it easier for the reader to navigate the research article and find the information they are looking for.
The author of the research article, D. Christopher Brooks, adopts a formal and scientific style of writing, whose effectiveness manifests itself in the presence of a formal tone. In writing the research article, Brooks includes scientific terms that describe studies and those that describe classroom spaces, making the article scientifically relevant and valid. This is important because it promotes the likelihood of the research article being considered seriously, as opposed to if it were written in an informal tone. Brooks also treats the topic with importance, which is evident in the manner in which he describes how he collected the data and the analysis of the data.
The research article is of particular appeal to academicians who are interested in the study of the impact of different learning spaces on the students. The study is also of importance to students, institutions and faculty, who may be interested in knowing which classroom spaces are most effective in improving grades and course performance.
Brooks, D. Christopher. “Space and Consequences: The impact of different formal learning spaces on instructor and student behavior.” Journal of Learning Spaces 1.2 (2012).