Design Features of the Physical Learning Environment for Collaborative, Project-Based Learning at the Community College Level

Publication May 2003

The purpose of the study was to (a) determine the design features of the physical learning environment that support collaborative, project-based learning, and (b) to gain an understanding of the rationale for the selection of the features. The literature review indicated a need for changing learning expectations to prepare learners for rapidly changing roles and responsibilities for the 21st century. Collaborative, project-based learning was identified as a pedagogy that prepares learners for these new learning expectations. Data were collected in three phases using a phenomenological approach. Collection methods included site visits, observations, reflection, text, interviews, and designs. Architects and educators participated in the study. Thirty-two design features were identified and placed into six categories. Upon further reflection and analysis, it appears the essence of the findings is the interrelationship among spaces and people.

Wolff, S. J. (2003, May). Design features of the physical learning environment for collaborative, project-based learning at the community college level. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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