Learning cannot be done in a vacuum—the setting where learning occurs matters just as much as the content. The ideal learning environment goes beyond the physical location of the classroom. Rather, it encompasses the culture, the organization, and the context in which learning occurs.
Successful learning interventions equip students with all the tools they need while centering the learning around their personal goals. As a result, positive and supportive learning environments see a marked increase in productivity. According to a study by the University of Salford, the classroom environment can affect academic progress by as much as 25%.
Providing the optimal learning experience can be challenging, especially since learners’ needs are ever-evolving. But with a little trial and error, it is possible to create an ideal learning environment tailored specifically for your learners. Let’s find out how!
Foster a Supportive Environment
To achieve the ideal setting for learning, it is important to create a positive and inclusive environment in the classroom for all learners. This can be achieved in a variety of different ways.
At its simplest, a positive environment can be created by instructors getting to know their learners, including their learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. This creates an opportunity to build trusting relationships, allowing learners to be more comfortable in the classroom.
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Give Learners Control
Part of building trust lies in giving up control. Students are more invested in a learning environment where they get to have some degree of control over their learning. Empowering students to share their opinions and preferences makes them feel more connected to their learning content and builds their confidence. Consequently, they pay more attention to lessons and are likely to retain concepts much better than passively consuming content.
Feedback and Assessment
The ideal learning environment must provide plenty of opportunities for assessment and feedback, with an emphasis on positive reinforcement. Feedback is an effective way for students and instructors to communicate and get on the same page regarding what’s working in the classroom and what isn’t.
Feedback helps learners understand their strengths and weaknesses and redirect their efforts to address any gaps that need to be filled. Self-assessment and peer-based reviews are also important tools in creating effective learning opportunities.
Make It Relevant
Establishing relevancy is key to creating an ideal learning environment. The content used in the classroom must reflect the cultural, social, and real-world context for the students. This includes any examples, exercises, or literature incorporated in the lessons. If students feel connected to the content they’re learning and find it relevant to their everyday lives, they are much more likely to be invested in their learning.
Students thrive in a dependable classroom environment. Establishing predictability provides some sense of normalcy in an otherwise busy and uncertain environment. Routines help students know in advance what to expect and allow them to prepare accordingly.
Routines may involve starting lectures with a ritual such as an ice-breaking session or going over learning objectives for the day. Other forms of routine could involve scheduling certain activities on particular days of the week.
The impact of technology in the classroom cannot be underestimated. An ideal learning environment embraces innovative tools to help learners brainstorm, organize, or present ideas. Whether it is the use of AI tools or virtual reality, having access to technology can get students excited about learning.
Leveraging these tools in the classroom also helps prepare learners for the technology they may come across in their professional lives. Corporations rely heavily on a tech-savvy workforce, prepared to adapt rapidly to newer tools and technologies. Getting comfortable with technology early in the classroom is a great way to prepare for this.
Part of giving students control over their learning is by ensuring that the learning reflects their personal goals and objectives. Allowing students to choose their preferred learning styles and pathways creates an inclusive learning environment. Having a variety of options to choose from with respect to assessment types, lecture material, and resources keeps learners invested. By allowing room for personalization, learners are likely to stay engaged and feel in charge of their learning.
Traditional classroom learning is not for everyone. Some learners thrive online, while others like to keep it flexible. An ideal learning environment must anticipate these varying needs among students and keep the learning format flexible. Be it synchronous or asynchronous, hybrid or blended, having the room to choose can make a huge difference in the classroom experience for learners.
Every individual’s idea of an ideal learning environment varies considerably from others. Bringing different learning styles and attitudes together can be a challenging task, however, it is possible to create an optimal learning environment by incorporating a mix of the strategies we’ve outlined in this article.
A good place to start is by making sure you have all the necessary tools at your disposal for creating an ideal learning environment. Having access to an intuitive and user-friendly Learning Management System can make it easy to implement an optimal learning environment. Edly’s LMS can do just that and more. Get in touch with us today or try out our platform for free!