Learning environments preferred by university students: a shift toward informal and flexible learning environments

Teemu Valtonen, Ulla Leppänen, Mareena Hyypiä, Anna Kokko, Jyri Manninen, Henriikka Vartiainen, Erkko Sointu, Laura Hirsto

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Universities are facing new challenges that pose various demands for developing learning environments. These challenges are related to different pedagogical approaches, the use of information and communications technology (ICT), the diversification of student populations, and new expectations related to working life. This study focused on university students’ perceptions of preferred learning environments and their thoughts about the best learning environments for the higher-education level. The main data consisted of answers to open questions from 230 students. Additionally, a questionnaire was used to gain an overall picture of students’ experiences in the current learning environment. Five main themes emerged: characteristics of the campus; available resources; flexibility of learning opportunities; pedagogy; and implementation of ICT in education. Further, two larger perspectives were highlighted. One was the need for informal learning environments (where students can study alone or with peers or just hang out). The second perspective pertains to the flexibility of learning, demonstrating the need for learning environments that allow participation without the need to come to the campus for face-to-face meetings. The need for resources (particularly ICT and the support and availability of teaching personnel) was also highlighted. The study provides important perspectives for developing appropriate learning environments for higher education.
TidskriftLearning environments research
Sidor (från-till)371-388
Antal sidor18
StatusPublicerad - okt. 2021
Externt publiceradJa
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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