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Exploring the role of environmental features on student experience in the university classroom with the Community of Inquiry framework

Heather R Kennedy, Gloria E Stafford


An active learning classroom design recognizes the importance of students becoming engaged in their own learning. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study compared student-reported data (n = 219) and used the community of inquiry framework to evaluate the impact of environmental features on students’ experience. Students occupied traditional or active-learning classrooms, but the same course content was delivered by the same instructor. Findings indicate a preference for seating at tables versus fixed desks, appropriate personal space and sightlines to the teacher and projector screens, and gratification for forming social connections (i.e., social presence).

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ISSN: 21586195

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