Physical and Psychosocial Environments Associated with Networked Classrooms
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This article reports a study of the learning environments in computer networked classrooms. The study is unique in that it involved an evaluation of both the physical and psychosocial classroom environments in these computerised settings through the use of a combination of questionnaires and ergonomic evaluations. The study involved administering a student questionnaire designed to assess aspects of the psychosocial learning environment in these settings, and relating these factors to students’ satisfaction and to important aspects of the physical learning environment. The sample consisted of 1404 students in 81 classes in Australia and Canada. A questionnaire assessing five aspects of psychosocial environment exhibited good factorial validity and internal consistency reliability. When satisfaction was used as a dependent variable, classroom psychosocial environment (especially autonomy/independence and task orientation) was significantly and directly associated with students’ satisfaction with their learning. In contrast, no direct associations were found between student satisfaction and measures of the physical classroom environment, such as the workspace and visual environments. However statistically significant associations emerged between physical and psychosocial learning environment variables in classrooms using new information technologies. These associations suggest a model of educational productivity for learning environments in technology-rich classrooms. Qualitative case studies provided more detailed information about selected classrooms.
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