Matching Instructors and Spaces of Learning

The latest issue of Journal of Learning Spaces features a research article by Dr. John A. McArthur. The article – “Matching Instructors and Spaces of Learning: The impact of space on behavioral, affective, and cognitive learning” – examines the role of classroom space in student learning. The abstract reads:

This study examined the extent to which instructional proxemics -– the physical space of the learning environment — impacts student behavioral, affective, and cognitive learning. Participants included 234 college students enrolled in 15 sections of public speaking. Each section was assigned to a study learning environment and an instructor, ensuring that each of the five instructors taught one section in each of the three learning environments. A 2 (student gender) x 3 (learning environment) x 5 (instructor) factorial ANOVA produced significant interactions between instructor and learning space on all three learning measures. Post-hoc analyses reveal that the instructional environment influences student learning outcomes and that these influences are moderated by the instructor. These results further the General Model of Instructional Communication (Valencic, Richmond, & McCroskey, 2004) by offering the instructional environment as a measurable facet of this model. In addition, these results suggest the importance of considering instructional proxemics as a facilitator of classroom success.

Dr. McArthur is an associate professor of communication in the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte.



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