Connecting instructional and cognitive aspects of an LE: A study of the global seminar project

Savelyeva, Tamara
January 2012
Learning Environments Research;2012, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p65
Academic Journal
My research problem is based on the lack of unifying conceptual cohesion between the discourses concerning cognitive and instructional aspects of learning environments (LE). I contrast that lack with practical developments of LE studies connected at the level of practical implementation and evaluation. Next, I briefly review the LE boundaries, which are established within cognitive and instructional domains of LE research. This study aims to bring the aforementioned discourses together via reconsidering and clarifying LE conceptual understandings. Using the case of a global seminar project (GSP), my goal is to define an LE as a conceptual phenomenon and a practical model with the two objectives of determining the GSP's components that establish the course in a context of higher education; and the GSP's specific contributions to deep learning. Within a qualitative research framework, I used three forms of data collection: 20 open-ended interviews of the GSP instructors; 11 direct observations of the GSP classroom; and the GSP's written documents and artifacts. Noting the contextual significance of the suggested LE framework that resulted from this study, I propose a definition of an LE as a conceptual phenomenon and educational model. Here, I introduce the key understandings of an LE and outline its significance based on a broader analysis of the results. I conclude with an interpretation of the results and potential limitations of my approach.


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