Learning Environments and Student Experience in Higher Education

Room 6.30, Level 6, 111 Barry Street


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Sonia Puglielli


Developing students’ nonroutine analytical and interpersonal skills, and complex ways of thinking and doing are among other capacities urgently required (OECD, 2019) besides the strengthening of general ones such as flexibility, independence, responsibility, creativity, and cooperation (Illeris, 2009). Considering this context the research aimed to answer the question:

How do classroom learning environments - involving their physical, pedagogical, psychological and social dimensions - foster or mitigate the students learning experience in higher education?  The concept of classroom learning environments provides an organic understanding of these settings. Since learning is always contextualized (Lave and Wenger, 1991) in specific situations and places, a qualitative study was conducted involving three subjects from the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) in the University of Melbourne. They were taught in different lecture and tutorial classroom settings (two in undergraduate levels and one in masters’ level). The participants of the study were students, lecturers and tutors involved in these subjects. The researcher observed their lectures and tutorial classes during a 12-week semester, from August to October in 2019. The researchers also conducted semi-structured interviews with lecturers, tutors, and focus groups with the students that participated in the subjects, using mixed methods to capture the interconnecting dimensions of these learning environments (Mäkelä & Helfenstein (2016).

Presenters:  Dr. Lisiane Closs is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Administration at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, ranked #1 among the Brazilian Federal Universities. She is currently a visiting research fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education working in collaboration with the Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC) project. Dr. Closs currently coordinates research projects on Learning Environments in Higher Education, and Management Teaching Training in Stricto Sensu Graduate Programs. She is a leader of the Teacher Preparation on Management and Accounting track of EnANPAD, the world’s 2nd major scientific event in Business, held annually in Brazil.