The physical and psychosocial environment associated with classrooms using new information technologies : a cross-national study.
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This research involved an in-depth and holistic investigation into the use of Internet technologies in high school classrooms. Specifically, it combined studies of the physical and psychosocial learning environments operating within these 'technological settings' and investigated interactions among the selected physical and psychosocial factors in influencing students' satisfaction with their learning. Further, the study described how both the physical and psychosocial domains may effectively enable, or alternatively, constrain the teaching methodologies used in these classrooms. The study involved two phases of investigation. The first phase involved a broad examination of the learning environment as measured with a questionnaire containing items measuring aspects of the psychosocial learning environment and with ergonomic site evaluations using a specially designed worksheet and inventory for computerised classrooms. In the second phase of the study, interactions among the physical and psychosocial variables in these measures were explored through the use of selected and detailed case studies from the original sample. Case studies included a more detailed assessment of the physical classroom environment in tandem with classroom observations and student/teacher interviews. The study was conducted in Australian and Canadian secondary schools and so, offers additional insights in the different approaches to technology implementation and teaching practice. The results of the study reveal a number of statistically significant and independent associations between physical and psychosocial factors and further, between psychosocial factors and students' satisfaction with learning. These findings were complemented by similar qualitative findings from the case studies. These quantitative and qualitative results were used to inform a model for educational productivity for computerised classrooms. The model includes a number of important physical and psychosocial factors which when considered together, may influence student attitudes (and potentially other outcomes) in emerging networked and computerised learning environments.
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