Designing Learning Environments

"Learners in supportive environments have high levels of self efficacy and self-motivation and use learning as a primary transformative force" (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1989).

To be effective, instructional multimedia should address the unique sources for learning differences that influence success. More specifically, it should emulate the instructor's experienced, intuitive ability to recognize and respond to how individuals learn differently and creatively foster interest, value, and more successful, independent learning. (Martinez, 1999).

    An efficient way to accomplish this challenging task is to determine common learning-difference profiles and match individualized solutions to audiences differentiated by these profiles.  This is actually simpler than it seems. Research helps us broadly describe four learning orientation profiles. Below are descriptions for mass customized learning environments that fit each of the learning orientations:

Transforming Learners  prefer loosely structured, flexible mentoring environments that promote challenging goals, discovery, strategies, problem solving, and self-managed learning.

Performing Learners   prefer semi-structured environments that stimulate personal value and provide details, tasks, processes, and creative interaction (hands-on) not exploration and great effort.

Conforming Learners  prefer simple, safe, low-learner control, structured environments that help learners achieve comfortable, low-risk learning goals in a linear fashion.

These descriptions support the broad variability in learning from a whole-person perspective, not simply in cognitive terms. They consider how emotions and intentions influence learning and thinking processes.  These are powerful influences that guide how successfully individuals intend to learn. A closely matched learning environment will clearly have a positive impact on the accessibility, affordability, and quality challenges that now confront global education and training. There is business related research called Person Environment Fit (PEF). PEF is the degree to which a person or their personality is compatible with their environment. More at:

Click here: Four-Step Learning and Performance Design Templates by Learning Orientation

Click here: Blueprint for Learning, Memory, and Performance Improvements

Click here: Integrating Creativity into Online University Classes

Click here: Integrating Critical Thinking into Online Classes Brent Muirhead D. Min., Ph.D.

Click here: More than Just Eye Candy: Graphics for e-Learning, Part 1

Click here : More than Just Eye Candy: Graphics for e-Learning, Part 2

Click here : Strategic Goals Suggestions for Math and Sciences

Click here: Six Principles of Effective e-Learning: What Works and Why?

Click here: Instructional Design Based on Knowledge Objects

Click here: Designing Learning Objects to Personalize Learning. Margaret Martinez, Ph. D.

Click here: Blended Learning Design: Five Key Ingredients

Click here: Strategies for Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines

Click here: Know Thy Learner: The Importance of Context in E-Learning Design (Moises Sheinberg)

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Updated March 2012 by Margaret Martinez & The Training Place, Inc.
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Copyright © Margaret Martinez 1996-2012