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Experimentation in New
Teaching Models and Learning Spaces

Experimentation in New Teaching Models and Learning Spaces

Experimental teaching can be defined as a process that includes a procedure carried out to support laid down assumptions. The procedures entail hands-on activities that engage and motivate students to learn in the science classroom (Doherty, 2011; Safaruddin et al., 2020).

Experimental teaching is an important part of teaching work in institutions of higher learning. It is the main route to cultivate the ability of analyzing and solving problem, the spirit of innovation, the quality of comprehensiveness for students.


Experiments can be used to introduce new ideas or to clarify puzzling aspects of topics with which students typically struggle. If the result of an experiment is surprising yet convincing, students are in position to build ownership of the new idea and use it to scaffold learning.




Teaching and learning are complex phenomena. As an example, it may be conjectured that implementing a form of problem-based learning could lead to increases in school test scores because students show greater engagement in classes due to higher motivation, or because it allows a level of peer interaction providing scaffolding of learning, or because it involves high-level thinking skills, or because the group work involved facilitates a more productive kind of discourse, or … A simple experimental study comparing teaching treatments and test scores and finding the problem-based learning condition resulted in significantly better outcomes could not distinguish which mechanism was at work. It is possible several such mechanisms are operating, perhaps synergistically: if students are more motivated and better engaged then they are more open to working outside their existing areas of competence where scaffolding may be effective, and may be more open to productive exploratory discourse – and so forth. Studies that collect data on a wide range of process variables can be used to construct mathematical models using techniques such as structural 42 equation modelling which offer insights into such complex situations (Schreiber, Nora, Stage, Barlow, & King, 2006), but these studies require more extensive quantitive data (as well as expertise in the methods) than simple experiments, and still require advanced knowledge of the variables that will be measured and included in a model.

Processes can also be investigated by ‘qualitative’ studies using more interpretivist modes of enquiry. Studies that observe teaching, collect classroom talk, and interview teachers and students, can offer valuable indications of productive educational processes (Duit, Roth, Komorek, & Wilbers, 1998; Petri & Niedderer, 1998). These studies may suffer a complementary weakness to experimental studies: so factors identified as salient in qualitative data may not always have a substantive influence on educational outcomes (that needs to be tested); just as showing a specific educational treatment is effective does not imply understanding the causal mechanism at work (an unidentified, confounding, factor could be the cause). Exploratory interpretive studies can be open to considering multiple explanations and to adopting a range of theoretical perspectives to support data analysis (Taber, 2008). Progressing a research programme may then be supported by complementing experimental studies with more interpretive work that can both suggest hypotheses to text experimentally and also question whether the assumed mechanisms underpinning experimental hypotheses seem feasible in terms of what is actually observed in different treatment conditions.


Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to “classroom,” but it may also refer to an indoor or outdoor location, either actual or virtual ( Wikipedia).

Space, whether physical or virtual, can have a significant impact on learning. Learning Spaces focuses on how learner expectations influence such spaces, the principles and activities that facilitate learning, and the role of technology from the perspective of those who create learning environments: faculty, learning technologists, librarians, and administrators. Information technology has brought unique capabilities to learning spaces, whether stimulating greater interaction through the use of collaborative tools, videoconferencing with international experts, or opening virtual worlds for exploration.

Classrooms or learning spaces are an essential part of students’ lives and new experiences. These environments should reflect current developments and the realities of the age and should be in harmony with them. So why do some classrooms look the same as they did 70 years ago?

Today we need a shift from traditional classrooms to innovative learning spaces because:

Current developments and realities of the age require changes in educational practices.

Widespread access to technology and increasing global use of technology are changing the skills and competencies needed. We must transform today’s students into effective collaborators and innovators capable of solving tomorrow’s problems In parallel, learning environments should support the development of these competences.

In this context, we need to rethink and redesign how we can design and transform learning spaces Oblinger (2006), defines learning areas as agents of change and argues that if we change areas, we can also change learning practices. So, we can step out of our comfort zones and offer this opportunity for change to our schools and students for better learning spaces.

Innovative learning spaces of the future combine the flexible use of spaces and furniture with technology integration in the innovative education and training process. The pedagogical purpose of these learning spaces is to improve the education and training process in many ways. From the students’ point of view, when they feel comfortable in these learning areas, they are more open to learning new information. Students are also interested in learning, exploring and developing many new skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Students learn by doing, enjoy group discussions and work collaboratively in these areas using digital learning tools As a result, the new learning area affects students’ attitudes, participation levels, learning experiences and academic performance (Byers et al., 2014).

From the teachers’ perspective, innovative learning spaces support teachers’ professional development for new roles, digital skills, innovative pedagogy and management strategies to enable students to learn more deeply in these areas.In addition, innovative fields tend to influence the teaching styles of teachers who prefer to be facilitator rather than didactic (Sztenjnberg & Finch 2006).

Teachers are more creative and innovative in their pedagogical practices and prefer more interactive online tools in their learning spaces. As a result, innovative learning spaces can bring change in education. However, design and furniture alone are not enough in these areas; they should be supported by innovative education and training practices to ensure more inclusive development in education(Blackmore ve diğerleri, 2011)

Focusing on the physical design and development of innovative learning spaces can benefit students now and in the future. In a large-scale literature review study conducted by Byers et al. (2018), the following concrete evidence was presented about the research on the effect of innovative learning spaces on learning outcomes;

A significant relationship between the design, function and nature of the physical learning environment and learning outcomes,

The positive effect of innovative learning areas on the academic success of the student,

An increase in the academic scores of students in innovative fields, ranging from 10-16% compared to those in traditional classrooms;

Learning areas in which technology is integrated provide significant statistical improvements in students’ academic scores.

European Schoolnet opened the Future Classroom Lab at its Brussels building in 2012. The Future Classroom Lab offers a classroom model with 6 learning areas. Each of the areas represents a pedagogical idea and offers the most suitable furniture and equipment for the pedagogical concept. The 6 learning areas can be divided into two groups. The first group (Interaction, Collaboration, Development) refers to the different forms of interaction between teacher and students. The second group (Research, Production, Presentation) deals with the different phases of the scenario or project. Below you will find some architectural strategies for making changes in learning spaces


Every school has areas that are underutilized or that can be added to areas where learning takes place. For example, corridors, halls, intermediate areas, attics…


Domains can be divided into different sub-domains. This can be done by adding a wall, as well as rearranging the furniture and using dividers to create different spaces if needed.


Connections (physical, visual, functional) are made between the existing areas in the school building.


Extra areas are added to the school building (neighboring buildings are built or acquired).

Cross borders

Areas around the school (eg public facilities) are used or shared after school hours for public events

Changes in learning areas do not happen in a day. It is a complex, step-by-step process that includes developing a pedagogical vision, dedication of school staff, and budgetary issues. Heidi Hayes Jacobs (2017) has developed a spectrum of learning spaces, from small classroom changes to opening up innovative learning spaces in school and beyond.

Stage 1: Rearrange the classes

Teachers work with what they already have. It can be rearranging furniture, moving furniture in and out.

Stage 2: Renovate and replace furniture

Replace the old classic desks with a variety of ergonomic chairs and tables suitable for the age and developmental level of children.

Stage 3: Change the purpose & renew the models of the learning spaces in the school

Create additional learning spaces outside of the classroom by repurposing and rearranging school-wide spaces.

Stage 4: Design and build interior and exterior additions to an existing structure

Build extensions or make fundamental changes to the internal structure of the school.

Stage 5: Use outdoors or areas around the school

Learning can also take place outside of school and in public or any open space.

Stage 6: Plan to design an entirely new school with a variety of learning areas and purposes

The construction of a completely new school reflects an innovative vision developed and shared by all stakeholders of the school.


Blackmore, J., Bateman, D., Loughlin, J., O’Mara, J., & Aranda, G. (2011). Research into the connection between built learning spaces and student outcomes. Melbourne, Victoria

Byers, T., Imms, W. & Hartnell-Young. (2014). Making the case for space: The effect of learning spaces on teaching and learning. Curriculum and Teaching. Vol. 29(1), 5-19. doi: 10.7459/ct/29.1.02.

Byers, T., Mahat, M., Liu, K., Knock, A., & Imms, W. (2018). A Systematic Review of the Effects of Learning Environments on Student Learning Outcomes. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, LEaRN.

Duit, R., Roth, W.-M., Komorek, M., & Wilbers, J. (1998). Conceptual change cum discourse analysis to understand cognition in a unit on chaotic systems: towards an integrative perspective on learning in science. International Journal of Science Education, 20(9), 1059-1073

Jacobs, H. H. (2017, 10 17). Ending Old-School Nostalgia in Learning Spaces. Retrieved from AASA:

Oblinger, D. (2006). Learning Spaces. Washington: Educause.

Pring, R. (2000). Philosophy of Educational Research. London: Continuum.

Schreiber, J. B., Nora, A., Stage, F. K., Barlow, E. A., & King, J. (2006). Reporting Structural Equation Modeling and Confirmatory Factor Analysis Results: A Review. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(6), 323-338. doi:10.3200/JOER.99.6.323-338

Sztejnberg, A. & Finch, E. F. (2006). Adaptive use patterns of secondary school classroom environments. Facilities. Vol. 24(13-14), 490-509. DOI: 10.1108/02632770610705275