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Space and consequences: The influence of the roundtable classroom design on student dialogue

Caroline S. Parsons


This study sought to explore how the design of both physical and virtual learning spaces influence student dialogue in a modern university. Qualitative analysis of the learning spaces in an undergraduate liberal arts program was conducted. Interview and focus group data from students and faculty, in addition to classroom observations, resulted in the finding that the program’s learning spaces empowered students to engage in dialogue, so much so that they occasionally wished to disengage. While this study found support for the idea that both physical and virtual learning spaces can positively influence student dialogue, findings also suggest that the role and purpose of virtual learning spaces (e.g., use of educational technologies) needs to be more intentionally designed and communicated to students. Recommendations and suggestions for future research are provided.

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ISSN: 21586195

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