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Forming and Sustaining a Learning Community and Developing Implicit Collective Goals in an Open Future Learning Space

Michael M Rook, Saliha Özkan-Bekiroglu, Phil Tietjen, Koun Choi, Scott P McDonald


This study investigates the role of space, material, and affect in undergraduate and graduate students’ lived experiences within an open Future Learning Space (FLS) and speaks to the call for research on learning communities in learning spaces, as described in Hod, Bielaczyc, and Ben-Zvi (2018). The methodological approach consists of semi-structured phenomenological interviews with thirteen users of the FLS and thematic analysis to uncover themes. Findings suggest the FLS was able to: (1) bring together individuals by producing individual and shared affective responses; (2) hold community together and inform perceptions; and (3) move the community together and shape practices. This study indicates that open FLSs are complex systems constructed by users and can meet some of the criteria for a learning community (LC), especially if we broaden the definitions to take into account implicit versions of an LC.

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ISSN: 21586195

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