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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.55 - Student learning behaviours in informal learning spaces; a research study

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Successful students practice self-regulated learning, often choosing to learn in the library’s informal learning spaces. While these spaces are generally thought to be effective and supportive of learning, little is known about what students think of the informal learning environment and its relationship to their self-regulated learning practices. This poster will review the results of a recent study where 21 students, ranging from undergraduates to Masters and PhD students, were asked about their learning activities as they relate to specific informal learning spaces in a newly built, large academic library with a variety of informal learning spaces. During the semi-structured interviews, the students were shown photographs of informal learning spaces such as a quiet reading room, computer workstations, study carrels, large and small study tables, and workrooms. They were asked to consider how affordances in each space and various environmental aspects such as light, view, noise, level of activity would affect their learning. Students also commented on the rationale for their choice of a preferred learning space. The study shows that students definitely come to the library with learning goals in mind and purposely choose specific spaces that enable them to learn effectively and achieve their goals. In addition to presenting an overview of the research study and initial results, this poster will present examples of some of the spaces and comments from the students on their learning activities in those spaces.

The goal of the study is to discover what, if any, relationships exist between space design and the learning choices students make, to determine if there are better designs for learning. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the research and consider the relationships between design and intentional informal learning outcomes. Handouts will be available.


Susan Beatty

Librarian, University of Calgary
Susan Beatty is a Librarian at the Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary. Her recent research is on the relationship between student learning behaviours and learning space design. Susan has presented at national and international conferences in Hong Kong, New Zealand... Read More →

Additional Authors

Jennifer Payne

Jennifer Payne is an MSc student in the Computational Media Design program at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on physical visualization, i.e. representations of information that are tangible

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University