Learning or educational ergonomics in virtual learning environments

Partner: University of Ljubljana

The manual, produced in the project CREST, particularly focuses on the ways educational spaces can be arranged and repurposed to become more student-centred, which ultimately affects students’ learning performance. Student-centred learning and learning ergonomics intertwine since one will necessarily inform the other. If students are put in charge of their learning and teaching process, they will use space and parts of their environment differently, compared to when the interactions were dictated solely by the instructor/teacher. Learning (or educational) ergonomics is concerned with the interdependence of educational performance and educational design as well as the notion that the performance of students and educational systems is, to a substantial degree, context-specific.

The authors have selected and combined five design principles that are common to various successful design studios and universities across the world: 1. Flexibility and modularity; 2. Cross-sectoral collaboration; 3. Tech-friendliness; 4. Comfort and focus; 5. Connection to public spaces.

They may be called ‘universal’, as the common aim is to maximize usability by individuals with different backgrounds and needs. These principles can be used not only to imagine future educational spaces but also to (easily) adapt the existing ones. However, the principles outlined in the manual are suggestions that should not be implemented without the participatory design process, explained in the manual, allowing users of spaces (students) to participate in (re)designing spaces, enabling a truly student-centred approach. By involving students in the repurposing process, new principles might emerge, and some of the ones that we defined might not be relevant to your context. Therefore, the design principles do not represent instant solutions for successful repurposing but could be taken as a starting point and inspiration to re-think the space(s).

Including learners and other shareholders in the design process guarantees the solutions, adapted to the need of learning and teaching process

Educational spaces can be arranged and repurposed to become more student-centred, which ultimately affects students’ learning performance. CREST project produced manual that include key design principles of such spaces.