Educators have sparked new interest in new pedagogical approaches to learning and the introduction of technology has made it possible for learning to take place informally. The creators of the virtual learning environment makes it compelling for students to learn in a student-centered and appealing environment that elicits positive emotional responses, enhance learning and powerful, emotional attachment to that space. A well designed space should have or should encourage the learner to work because the environment is pleasurable. The learner will want to continue learning long after the formal learning session is over. The space should allow social interaction, where the learners can discuss, solve problems or talk through issues. There is also a flexibility and ease that take place as a mix of both formal and informal learning occurs. A blend of mystery and enchantment should be provided in each lesson to keep the learner focused.
Capturing the student’s attention can be done through social information. The manner in which students process information should be observed and used by educators. Providing a stimulus through which the student’s attention is captured and held is key. Use what the student is interested in most to get his attention. Use a game of card on the internet. Set each student computer screen with a specific card that bears his name. The activity given should be interactive where he/she is required to show what they are doing or what they know. If the student fails to remain focused his screen with the card will show up on the computer monitor (set at the front of the class for all to see)
Social strategies allow for greater interaction. Designing space where greater interaction can take place is becoming more popular. The Constructivist model reflects how people learn so in order to build spaces, goals must be clear as to the kind of teaching and learning that will take place in that space. Space can be utilized for beneficial learning to take place. The use of video conferencing, discussion groups, and experiential learning activities can be employed in group activities or projects. With newly designed spaces student are able to sit in groups and use any one of the technological devices of their choice to access material needed to do work. Teacher can upload notes instead of scribbling on chalkboard or giving dictation. Students too can be more involved in lectures and discussions instead of writing in notebooks.
Oblinger, D. G. (2006). Learning Spaces . The Psychology of Learning Environments. p. 6.1 to 6.14 Ken Graetz . Winona State University.