An Alternative Model of Learning: Implications of Learning Sciences Research for the Creation of Effective Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments
The European Commission stresses the importance of innovation, research, high-quality education and lifelong learning as Europe develops as a knowledge-based society and economy. In order to enhance the scientific knowledge on innovative pedagogies and accelerate new forms of learning and teaching, more interdisciplinary learning sciences research is required. This research can inspire to a faster and more progressive change in Europe's education and training systems. Consequently, the overall goal of this research project is to gain a refined knowledge on how students come to understand and how faculty can support learning with understanding, creating effective learning environments. The objectives tackled are as follows: (1) In order to refine the scientific knowledge on how students come to understand, cognition will be studied in its physical, social and cultural context, conducting an interdisciplinary literature review and outlining a sensitizing framework; (2) Explorative case study research on how expert instructors in the field of education design effective learning environments that engage students in deep learning will be conducted. In this respect, three selected courses at Harvard Graduate School of Education will be investigated to inform the theory-building process of the study; (3) Characteristics of effective learning environments will be derived from learning sciences research (see 1, 2) to guide the development of a new learning model; (4) Good practices as well as implications for curriculum development and learning and teaching in higher education will be drawn from the American context, with the purpose of transferring and implementing the insights gained there, to the European context.
contribution to scientific community
St. Gallen: University of St. Gallen