Everything You Should Know About Intentional Learning Environments
Educators and instructors are always looking for new ways to help learners develop their skills and knowledge while catering to their needs and preferences. An intentional learning environment involves different methods to enhance problem-solving skills and critical thinking and help learners achieve their goals. The primary purpose is to create a space where learners feel comfortable and free to express themselves while staying motivated to expand their knowledge. Below, we’ll analyze the elements of intentional learning environments and how they apply to eLearning.
Elements Of Intentional Learning Environments
There are three basic teaching methods used in intentional learning environments. The first is inquiry-based learning, where students discover the learning material by asking questions and exploring information independently. On the other hand, when the instructor chooses project-based learning, students work in groups to study and solve real-world problems or complete more collaborative tasks. Similarly, problem-based learning focuses on a complex issue that learners must solve, developing their critical thinking and analytical skills.
Textbooks are a more traditional teaching material; however, they still provide an opportunity for deep learning. As such, they’re often used in intentional learning environments. Instructors can also deliver lessons through videos, podcasts, and images that are more engaging and can be adapted to the learners’ interests. Lastly, instructors can leverage online resources, like eBooks and simulations, to provide students with a wide range of information.
The classroom layout is essential when it comes to creating an intentional learning environment. The equipment should be arranged in a way that promotes collaboration and allows learners to interact and communicate with their peers. For example, educators can arrange desks and tables to face each other so that it’s easier for students to work in groups. Ideally, the classroom should also be equipped with adjustable furniture, like standing desks or ergonomic chairs.
Intentional Learning Environments In eLearning
First of all, instructors should carefully choose what LMS they’re going to use to manage and deliver courses more effectively. The right LMS must include features such as group chats, progress tracking, and feedback. Besides the multimedia resources mentioned above, instructors can experiment with Virtual Reality and other immersive learning approaches. Lastly, they can create virtual classrooms with real-time lessons to encourage participation.
Interactive learning activities are an excellent example of Instructional Design for an intentional eLearning environment because they give students control of the learning process. Quizzes and games allow users to forge their own paths while learning and can also provide immediate feedback. Additionally, personalization is a crucial aspect of Instructional Design, and it involves tailoring the online lessons according to each learner’s needs and preferences. Lastly, courses should be designed to foster collaboration through online discussion forums, group projects, and online meeting platforms.
Instructors also have to plan ahead the teaching strategies they will follow during the online course. For instance, they can practice scaffolding, which involves gradually building on a learner’s preexisting knowledge to prevent cognitive overload and encourage them to assign meaning to the subject matter. Additionally, reflective activities, such as self-assessments, help learners identify their strengths and weaknesses.
What Do Intentional Learning Environments Offer?
Engagement And Motivation
Intentional learning environments foster active learning, which makes learners feel more engaged and emotionally invested in the process. Also, they’re motivated to work harder toward achieving their learning goals because the lessons are focused on them and their personal experience.
Better Learning Outcomes
Learners can easily remember ideas and concepts when educators promote skills like deep learning and critical thinking, making it easier for them to apply the information in their everyday lives. They’re also able to adapt their lessons according to their learning preferences and requirements, which empowers them to achieve milestones along the way and even pursue additional learning opportunities.
Students must participate in group discussions and undertake group projects. This prepares them for their future or current careers and allows them to develop critical social skills and learn to communicate and work with others effectively. Also, they enrich their knowledge with different perspectives from their peers and learn how to navigate conflict and disagreements.
By using technology and other creative instructional methods, educators often spend less time on administrative tasks. Instead, they focus more on teaching and creating learning activities that positively impact students’ experiences. Additionally, intentional learning environments allow educators to track students’ performance to give more constructive feedback and offer personalized support when needed. However, if you’re still unsure whether this approach is best for your next Instructional Design project, you can also explore other strategies in our comprehensive list of Instructional Design models and theories.