Does the learning space matter? An evaluation of active learning in a purpose-built technology-rich collaboration studio
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AbstractStudies in technology-rich learning environments have reported positive outcomes of active learning when compared to the traditional didactic classroom; others have found no benefits or have found interruption to learning due to the distraction of the technology. Evidence is required to support effective technology spaces that promote professional preparation, engagement and learning transfer. The impact of a technology-enabled collaboration studio on facilitating team-based learning for professional preparation through a case study in biomedical sciences was explored using a mixed method approach. Explicit assessment items as objective measures of student learning outcomes and implicit subjective, self-reported feelings of engagement and readiness for clinical practice is reported. Quantitative results showed an average 11.8% (p &lt; 0.001; 95% CI 6.6-17.0) improvement in the final examination score for those students who had content delivered in the collaborative environment compared to a standard classroom. Qualitative results also support the notion that engagement and learning was enhanced. Investment towards a technology-enabled collaboration studio has shown a contributory effect that improves final grade outcomes through increased engagement, communication, motivation and professionalism for the learner. This research informs guidelines for best practice in active learning environments, particularly in purpose-built high technology learning spaces. Implications for practice or policy: Learning outcomes can be improved by investing in technology-enabled collaboration studios. Engagement and a sense of professional practice are enhanced by active learning in a technology-rich learning environment. Institutions should invest in technology-enabled active learning spaces.