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Physical and psychosocial aspects of the learning environment in information technology rich classrooms

Physical and psychosocial aspects of the learning environment in information technology rich classrooms,10.1080/00140130117116,Ergonomics,David B. Zan

Physical and psychosocial aspects of the learning environment in information technology rich classrooms   (Citations: 26)
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This paper reports on a study of environments in emerging Internet classrooms. At issue for this study is to what extent these 'technological classrooms' are providing a positive learning environment for students. To investigate this issue, this study involved an evaluation of the physical and psychosocial environments in computerised school settings through a combination of questionnaires and inventories which were later cross-referenced to case studies on a subset of these classrooms. Data were obtained from a series of physical evaluations of 43 settings in 24 school locations in British Columbia, Canada and Western Australia. Evaluations consisted of detailed inventories of the physical environment using the Computerised Classroom Environment Inventory (CCEI): an instrument developed specially for this study. Data on psychosocial aspects of the environment were obtained with the What is Happening in this Classroom (WIHIC) questionnaire administered to 1404 high school students making routine use of these computerised classrooms. Potential deficiencies in the physical environment of these locations included problems with individual workspaces, lighting and air quality. Whereas deficiencies in the psychosocial environment were confined to the dimension of Autonomy. Further analysis of these classroom environment data indicated that student Autonomy and Task Orientation were independently associated with students' Satisfaction with learning and that many physical (eg. lighting and workspace dimensions) and psychosocial factors (eg. students' perceptions of Cooperation and Collaboration) were also associated. The results provide a descriptive account of the learning environment in 'technology-rich' classrooms and further, indicate that ergonomic guidelines used in the implementation of IT in classrooms may have a positive influence on the learning environment.
Journal: Ergonomics , vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 838-857, 2001
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