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ERIC Number: EJ918356
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Social Learning Spaces and Student Engagement
Matthews, Kelly E.; Andrews, Victoria; Adams, Peter
Higher Education Research and Development, v30 n2 p105-120 Apr 2011
Notable gains have been made in understanding the factors that influence the student experience in higher education, particularly in the area of student engagement. While tremendous effort has been focused on identifying educationally beneficial activities for students, we must also consider where these activities are occurring. In recent years there have been technological advances that have paved the way for blended learning environments, however, physical learning environments continue to dominate the functionality of many universities. The development of purpose-built informal social learning spaces as a strategy to enhance the student experience is becoming more prevalent, although empirical research in this area is lacking. This study explores the role of social learning spaces on the student experience using the student engagement framework within a qualitative research design. Informal interviews with 103 students were conducted within a social learning space. Findings reveal that social learning spaces can contribute to enhanced student engagement by fostering active learning, social interaction and belonging amongst tertiary students. The study also suggests that design is a contributing factor to students' perceptions of social learning spaces. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia