ArticlePDF Available

Empirical Evaluation of Different Classroom Spaces on Students' Perceptions of the Use and Effectiveness of 1-to-1 Technology

  • The Anglican Church Grammar School and University of Queensland

Abstract and Figures

This study evaluated if different classroom layouts enacted different pedagogical uses of digital technology in a secondary schooling environment. A quasi-experimental approach facilitated by a Single Subject Research Design (SSRD) isolated the impact of two learning spaces –traditional’ classrooms, and ‘New Generation Learning Spaces’ (NGLS), on students' and teachers’ perceptions related to the effectiveness, use and value of technology as a learning tool. Results from quantitative analyses over the period of a school year indicated that the different spatial configurations did have some impact on teachers’ pedagogical uses of digital technology. This impact translated to a measurable effect on how students’ perceived the effectiveness of the technology. The findings of this study build on the empirical evidence of earlier work to suggest that the spatial layout of the physical learning environment can influence teacher pedagogical use of digital technology. The replication of these results has reinforced the credibility of this unique methodological approach, arguing this evaluative strategy can offer the capacity to generate much needed robust empirical data on evaluation of physical learning spaces and its impact on the use of digital technologies.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Empirical evaluation of different classroom spaces on students’
perceptions of the use and effectiveness of 1-to-1 technology
Terry Byers, Elizabeth Hartnell-Young and Wesley Imms
Terry Byers is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of
Melbourne and the Director of Innovation in Learning, The Anglican Church Grammar School. He is interested in
evaluating the empirical impact of pedagogies, learning spaces, and technologies in a school setting. Elizabeth
Hartnell-Young is an Honorary Fellow at MGSE, The University of Melbourne. Her research interests include
teacher professional learning, technologies for learning and student agency. Wesley Imms is an Associate Professor in
Education in MGSE, The University of Melbourne. He is currently a lead Chief Investigator on two Australian
Research Council projects in Learning Environments. Address for correspondence: Terry Byers, The Anglican Church
Grammar School, Oaklands Parade, East Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Email:
This study explored the effect of different classroom spatial layouts on student
perceptions of digital technology in a secondary schooling environment. A quasi-
experimental approach facilitated by a Single Subject research design (SSRD) isolated
the impact of two learning spaces—traditional’ classrooms, and ‘new generation
learning spaces’ (NGLS), on students’ perceived effectiveness, use and value of one-to-
one technology as a learning tool. Results from quantitative analyses over the period of
a school year indicated that different spatial configurations had a measurable effect on
how students’ perceived the effectiveness of the affordances of digital technology, with
improvements often linked to NGLS. However, the evidence suggests that a change in
learning space alone will not increase learning. A change in space supports those
teachers who are able and willing to integrate the affordances of technology into their
practice. Building on the collective methodologies of earlier work this analysis has
reinforced the credibility of this unique methodological approach, arguing this
evaluative strategy offers the capacity to generate much needed robust empirical data
on evaluation of learning environments in a secondary school setting.
Considerable attention has identified those factors that influence the diffusion and impact of digi-
tal technology in the classroom (see Arbelaiz & Gorospe, 2009; Bingimlas, 2009; Ertmer &
Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Besides the quantifiable issues around access, resourcing and techni-
cal support (Bingimlas, 2009), the classroom teacher is often identified as a mediating factor in
the effective uptake and utilisation (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Interestingly, the con-
stant role of the unaltered traditional classroom layout, in which the diffusion of technology
takes place, has been largely overlooked (Arbelaiz & Gorospe, 2009; Yang & Huang, 2015). The
work of Fisher (2010), Lippman (2010) and Yang and Huang (2015) suggests that the nuances
of the physical learning space can have a direct impact on the pedagogical use of digital
Given the nascent nature of this field of study, authors have established the notion of a potential
misalignment between the nature of the traditional classroom layout and affordances of digital
technology (Lippman, 2010; Yang & Huang, 2015). The work of Tyack and Tobin (1994)
C2016 British Educational Research Association
British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016 00–00
around the inherent rules or spatial grammar of the physical learning environment, has been
drawn upon to explain its mediating role in hindering or supporting change. Arbelaiz and Gor-
ospe (2009) described how the grammar of the traditional classroom layout has dictated the
often awkward physical integration and peripheral use of digital technology.
Authors have hypothesised that disrupting the spatial “grammar” could provide a possible ave-
nue to support digital technology to effect its claimed impact (Arbelaiz & Gorospe, 2009; Fisher,
2010; Lippman, 2010; Yang & Huang, 2015). However, there is a lack of systematic methodolo-
gies or empirical evidence available to evaluate this claim. Therefore, this study employed a
quasi-experimental approach facilitated by a single subject research design (SSRD) to evaluate if
different classroom layouts altered the pedagogical uses of technology in a secondary school
context. The study compared student perceptions of the effectiveness and use of their personal
Tablet PC device in a traditional classroom layout and a retrofitted new generation learning space
(NGLS). This study built upon earlier evaluations through this approach (see Byers & Imms,
2014, 2016) by extension to a larger sample and the addition of between-group comparison of
cognitively matched control groups. The result is a rigorous attempt to elicit evidence pertaining
to the potential impact of different spatial layouts on the use of digital technologies in a secondary
schooling setting.
Imposition of digital technology into traditional classrooms
In schools, digital technology has been imposed into unaltered traditional classroom spaces that
often reflect a “Pre-information Age way of thinking” (Selwyn, 2010, p. 27). This approach has
Practitioner Notes
What is already known about this topic
The macro (ie, infrastructure, resourcing and top-down policies) and micro (ie,
teacher background, beliefs, characteristics and confidence) factors that affect the
diffusion of digital technology in teaching and learning.
The use of digital technology in education has yet to be leveraged to its fullest
Physical classroom conditions (ie, air quality, light, noise, spatial density, temper-
ature and ventilation) affect optimal teaching and learning.
What this paper adds
Addresses the limited attention directed towards understanding the micro role of
the physical classroom space in affecting the diffusion of digital technology in
teaching and learning.
Indicates classroom spaces aligned with the affordances of digital technology can
effectively support those teachers who seek more effective use of ICTs in their
Demonstrates an evaluative strategy with the capacity to generate robust empiri-
cal data on the evaluation of physical learning spaces.
Implications for practice and/or policy
Provides evidence of a cost-effective solution (the retrofit of existing classroom
spaces) to improve integration of digital technology in classrooms.
Provides research methods and data analysis techniques that can be easily inte-
grated within the schooling context.
2British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016
C2016 British Educational Research Association
privileged existing ideologies and practices, with only superficial changes “to keep up technical
appearances” (Bigum & Rowan, 2008, p. 247). In these spaces, the use of digital technology has
largely sustained, and in many instances reinforced, existing behaviours and pedagogies (Ertmer
& Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010; Selwyn, 2010).
These superficial spatial changes stem from the lack of understanding exactly how the integration
of digital technology affects the physical and social conditions of the classroom setting (Lippman,
2010). Fisher (2004) suggested that this lack of understanding points to a “deep spatial silence.”
This silence is key to understanding how the salient effects of the physical learning environments
enables or restricts the implementation of technologies for pedagogical gain (Fisher, 2004;
Lippman, 2010).
Grammar of the traditional classroom as a barrier to the pedagogical use
of technology
The form and function of the traditional classroom are one of the few constants in education
(Yang & Huang, 2015). It has been shaped, reinforced and perpetuated by physical, psychological
and social constructs or the grammar of schooling (Tyack & Tobin, 1994). Like grammatical
rules, Tyack and Tobin outline how these entrenched practices and structures seek to maintain
the status quo, despite the potential of the envisioned change.
Through this metaphor, it can be understood why digital technologies are imposed on unchanged
classrooms leading to superficial changes to pedagogies and learning experiences. A common
example is the placement and use of data projectors and interactive whiteboards. Typically, these
are placed at the front of the room and have reinforced the front-centre or “fireplace” teaching
position (Reynard, 2009). From this position, teachers tend to use the technology to disseminate
content through a digital medium akin to a blackboard/whiteboard (Yang & Huang, 2015). This
example, while not a critique of the efficacy of this mode of instruction, typifies how the continua-
tion of physical conditions of the classroom maintains existing pedagogies through the peripheral
use of technology.
The study
The aim of this study was to evaluate if different classroom layouts enacted different pedagogical
uses of technology in a secondary school context. The research questions were:
1. To what extent does the spatial change affect how students’ perceived the incidence in
the use of digital technology throughout the school day?
2. To what degree does the spatial change affect how students’ perceived the effectiveness of
digital technology as a learning tool?
3. To what extent do students attribute spatial characteristics of classrooms to the way they
used digital technology in their learning and the effectiveness of that use?
4. What are the longer-term effects of the NGLS, beyond the initial spatial transition, on
student perceptions of digital technology when compared to their peers (taking into
account their cognitive ability) who occupy a traditional classroom on the same assess-
ment items assessing the same subject curriculum throughout a school year?
The hypothesis was that the NGLS layout, designed specifically with the potential provided by
ubiquitous access to technology, would enact a different pedagogical use than that experienced
in an unaltered traditional classroom layout.
The spaces
The study took place within three existing buildings that accommodated Year 7, 8 and 9 (11–
14-year-old boys) classes. Each space had a data projector and screen, with the adequate wireless
Evaluating the change in space on 1-to-1 technology 3
C2016 British Educational Research Association
infrastructure to connect student and teacher Tablet PC devices. The Windows-based devices,
with a digitised stylus and several applications, enabled teachers to develop teaching resources,
deliver curriculum and assess students through multimodal artfacts (ie, handwritten and typed
text, sound/voice and still/moving images). Synchronous connectivity enabled teachers to dis-
seminate content and facilitate collaboration through “teacher-whole class,” “teacher-individual
student” and “student-student” modalities of learning.
The study focused on two different classroom layouts. The first of these spaces is typical of a con-
ventional classroom considered “traditional” in layout (Figure 1). The fixed orientation of the
room focused on the front fireplace teaching position, delineated by a teacher desk, whiteboard
and screen.
The second of these spaces were classrooms, retrofitted to constitute an NGLS in line with Fisher’s
(2006) three modalities of learning (teacher-centred; student-centred; and informal). Based on
the work of Lippman (2010) around the alignment of technology and space, the NGLS design
(Figure 1) incorporated a polycentric or multiple focal point layout. The polycentric layout sought
to de-emphasise the fireplace teaching position (Reynard, 2009). The intent was to stimulate
greater movement about the space and enable adaptation and flow between various learning
modalities (Fisher, 2006). Such a design sought to remove those perceived spatial barriers that
were thought to inhibit how teachers’, and therefore students’, used their device.
Research design
The quasi-experimental approach facilitated by an SSRD moderated potential impacts on external
and internal validity through three design elements. First, the direct replication of the design,
methods and means of analysis of the earlier Byers and Imms (2014, 2016) studies improved the
generality of the collective findings. Second, between-group comparisons of cognitively matched
or “like” control groups moderated the internal validity threats of assessment, curriculum, matu-
ration and class composition. Third, each class acted as its control, baseline and unit of analysis,
which improved the statistical power of the sample and moderated the variables of the teacher
and cognitive ability.
The sample consisted of consenting students (n5385) and teachers (n521) from 22 classes
from Years 7 to 9 (Table 1). The student sample represented a participation rate of 64%. Teacher
participants, selected through convenience sampling, reflected a fair representation of year levels
and subject disciplines (English, Humanities and Mathematics).
Figure 1: Comparison of traditional (left) and new generation learning space (NGLS) (right) layouts
4British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016
C2016 British Educational Research Association
Classes were divided into three experimental groups based on the existing timetable (Table 1).
The NGLS Intervention (NI) group consisted of six classes, which spent a semester in each of the
two (traditional and NGLS) classroom layouts. These classes were the focus of the within-group
analysis that addressed research questions one, two and three.
Six NGLS Control (NC) and ten Traditional Control (TC) classes were compared throughout a
school year to address the fourth research question. These classes were the subject of between-
group analysis and matched on data from the academic assessment services (AAS) testing instru-
ment. The normed and standardised AAS test was a proxy measure of cognitive ability.
Independent-group t-test (p>.05) indicated that matched “like” (high- and mixed-) ability classes
were statistically similar.
A priori power analysis (p5.05 and d5.5) indicated that all but three (Year 7 NC and TC and
Year 8 NI) of the sample sizes were adequate for the desired statistical power (.8). To maintain
the a priori statistical power and reduce the potential for bias, a complete data set was produced
through the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) (Peugh & Enders, 2004). First, an overall Lit-
tle’s missing completely at random (MCAR) test score greater than .05 (.94) indicated that the
missing data was, in fact, MCAR. Second, the MLE process produced a complete data set through
the Expectation-Maximisation algorithm.
The research questions were addressed through an anonymous, repeated-measures student atti-
tudinal survey and teacher focus group. The repeated measures linking pedagogy, technology
and space (LPTS) consisted of five point Likert-scale items assigned to three underlying scales.
Table 2 shows the independent variables and sample items for the LPTS scales. The items were
derived from elements of the Tamim, Lowerison, Schmid, Bernard, and Abrami (2011) and Byers
and Imms (2014, 2016) studies.
Table 2: Descriptive information for the LPTS survey digital technology questions
LPTS scale
variables Sample item
Incidence in use of digital
technology (Scale A)
Use at school
Use at home
In a normal school day, how often
do you use your Tablet PC in class?
Effectiveness of digital
technology (Scale B)
I prefer using Technology instead of a
traditional paper notebook/exercise book?
Spatial effect on
technology (Scale C)
Positive influence
The use of technology, in this space, has
had a positive influence on my learning?
Table 1: Summary of the sample size, participation and retention rates
Study group
Sample size Participation rate Retention rate
Yr. 7 Yr. 8 Yr. 9 Yr. 7 Yr. 8 Yr. 9 Yr. 7 Yr. 8 Yr. 9
NGLS intervention 37 21 58 69% 74% 68% 84% 74% 84%
NGLS control 28 92 NA* 52% 79% NA 86% 86% NA
Traditional control 27 45 77 56% 56% 54% 81% 78% 89%
*Not applicable.
Evaluating the change in space on 1-to-1 technology 5
C2016 British Educational Research Association
Data analysis
There were four distinct components to the analyses. First, post hoc Cronbach’s alpha assessed
the reliability of student survey responses. This determined the capacity the data of each of LPTS
scale to be summed and treated as one unit for analysis.
Second, one-way repeated analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) determined if a statistically signifi-
cant difference existed between student attitudes in an NGLS compared to the traditional layout
for the NI classes. Post hoc visual analysis, effect size (Hedge’s g) and partial eta squared (g
ues focused on the timing, direction and magnitude of the spatial intervention on student LPTS
survey responses. To avoid the issues of positively correlated data, adjusted Cousineau-Morey CIs
were calculated as recommended by Baguley (2012).
Third, a one between- and one within-subjects factor RM-ANOVA facilitated between-group anal-
ysis of the matched NC and TC (control) classes. The analysis focused on the longitudinal effects
of the different spaces on student attitudes. Concurrently, it investigated if the effect of “novelty”
influenced the within-group intervention analysis.
Four, thematic analysis of the teacher focus group. The preceding quantitative analysis informed
the development of these themes. Analysis of the teachers’ voice, clarified how technology was
used in each layout and how this influenced trends within the quantitative analysis.
Results and discussion
The reliability of student attitudinal data
Reliability estimates through Cronbach’s alpha were calculated for each survey scale (Table 3).
All estimates were in the acceptable range identified by Gliem and Gliem (2003). This supported
data for each class in each scale to be summed and treated as one unit for analysis.
The effect of a spatial intervention on student technology usage and learning experiences
The within-group RM-ANOVA and post hoc analysis of the six NI classes determined if statisti-
cally significant changes in student attitudes correlated with the timing of the spatial
intervention. Before the RM-ANOVA, Shapiro-Wilks’s statistics supported the assumption of nor-
mality. There were instances when sphericity could not be assumed, based on the calculation of
Mauchly’s test. Consequently, Greenhouse-Geisser-corrected values are reported.
Incidence of the use of the student device
The RM-ANOVA (Table 4) and post hoc analysis (Table 5) of Scale A responded to the first
research question. The analysis suggested that the spatial intervention did not affect the incidence
of student use of their device. Post hoc visual analysis revealed that in each class, the students
indicated a consistent and high incidence (>50%) in the daily usage of their Tablet PC device in
either spatial layout.
Table 3: Post hoc reliability analysis through Cronbach’s alphas for survey scales
Pre-NGLS intervention Post-NGLS intervention
Scale Name Items Pre 1 Pre 2 Pre 3 Post 1 Post 2 Post 3
A Incidence in use of digital
2 .850 .863 .846 .877 .881 .875
B Effectiveness of digital
4 .772 .762 .795 .804 .821 .810
C Spatial effect on
2 .806 .824 .850 .837 .813 .856
6British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016
C2016 British Educational Research Association
The effectiveness of digital technology
The RM-ANOVA of Scale B evaluated student perceptions relating to the effectiveness of the tech-
nology in their learning. Five classes returned a significant time effect. Post hoc analysis revealed
that the statistically significant effects (p<.05) for classes 8.1 and 9.1 were attributed to the tim-
ing of the intervention. For classes 7.1, 7.2 and 9.2 the visual analysis revealed the instance of
latency (delayed statistical difference).
The difference in the rate of change across this sample could be attributed to teacher envi-
ronmental competency (Lackney, 2008). Lackney (2008) identified environmental
comptency as the ability to utilise the affordances of the physical learning environment
with their practices for pedagogical gain. Together with teacher self-efficacy in the use of
digital technology as identified by Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010), these instances
of latency suggested that these teachers took some time before they altered their use of
technology to exploit the spatial affordances of the NGLS for pedagogical gain. Whereas,
the environmental competency and self-efficacy of those teachers of the classes 8.1 and
9.1 supported them to make those observable changes to their use of technology more eas-
ily, which resulted in a more immediate change in student perceptions.
Spatial effect on student perceptions about digital technology
To answer the third research question, the RM-ANOVA evaluated responses to Scale C, which
focused on the perceived effect of a student’s current learning environment on their attitudes to
digital technology. The RM-ANOVAs (Table 4) and post hoc comparisons (Table 5) correlated
Table 5: Post hoc visual and effect size analysis of changes in student perceptions of digital technology as a
learning tool through the spatial transformation from traditional classroom to NGLS
Incidence in use Effectiveness Effect of space
Class Visual g Visual g Visual g
7.1 NS
10.13 NS 10.98 NS 10.73
7.2 NS 20.14 NS 11.08 NS 10.91
8.1 NS 10.09 SS
11.14 SS 11.38
9.1 NS 10.27 SS 11.50 SS 11.56
9.2 NS 10.18 NS 11.06 SS 11.57
9.3 NS 20.03 NS 10.46 SS 11.08
Nonstatistically significant visual effect.
Statistically significant visual effect.
Table 4: Summary of RM-ANOVA that measured changes in student perceptions to digital technology
through the spatial transformation from traditional classroom to NGLS
Incidence in use Effectiveness Effect of space
Class MS df F g
MS df F g
MS df F g
7.1 .49 2.78 .99 .07 1.44 3.25 6.23* .32 .71 3 2.30 .15
7.2 2.28 3.13 2.37 .12 3.26 3.36 11.07* .34 1.98 3.36 11.07** .24
8.1 1.28 5 3.06* .12 5.00 5 11.58** .37 11.98 3.22 12.17** .38
9.1 1.01 5 2.37* .11 2.48 5 11.79** .39 4.49 5 13.11** .42
9.2 .48 5 .67 .04 3.95 5 7.39** .29 6.96 5 14.53** .45
9.3 .63 2.76 1.06 .05 1.41 3.80 1.30 .14 3.13 3.44 7.24** .28
Note.*p<.05, **p<.01.
Evaluating the change in space on 1-to-1 technology 7
C2016 British Educational Research Association
statistically significant differences in student attitudes at the timing of the spatial intervention for
classes 8.1, 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3. Like the analysis of Scale B, the post hoc analysis of class 7.2 indi-
cated a latent statistical change.
Analysis of responses to Scale C suggested that students identified a considerable positive change
in their use and effectiveness of digital technology during the time in the NGLS. In comparison,
during their time in a more traditional layout, their responses suggested that their use of digital
technology added little to their learning experiences. The evidence presented here does support
the suggestions of Fisher (2010), Lippman (2010) and Yang and Huang (2015) of the plausible
influence of the different spatial layouts on how digital technology is used in the classroom.
The similarity between how specific classes responded to Scales B and C, in particular, the magni-
tude and nature of the change for classes 8.1 and 9.1, could further indicate the potential effect
of the classroom teacher as identified by Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010). This correlation,
coupled with the instances of latency, further strengthen the confounding influence of teacher
environmental competency (Lackney, 2008). Building on the work of Byers and Imms (2014,
2016) these findings suggest that the classroom teacher and their environmental competency
and self-efficacy are key underlying contributors in how different spaces can shape the pedgogical
use of technology.
Evaluating the longitudinal effects of different learning spaces on attitudes to digital technology
To answer the fourth research question, between-group RM-ANOVAs of matched control classes
evaluated the layout type (main effect), student attitudes (learning space and time) and the possi-
ble interaction to determine the longer-term of these effects (learning space 3time). These
comparisons focused on the impact of the different layouts, without the influence of the novelty
brought by the spatial intervention. Calculated residuals indicated there were no significant out-
liers. Shapiro-Wilks statistics supported the assumption of normality.
Incidence of usage of the student device
The between-group RM-ANOVA and post hoc analysis resulted in similar findings to the
within-group intervention analysis. Even though the RM-ANOVA (Table 6) returned a sig-
nificant time effect in four of the six comparisons, post hoc comparisons (Table 7) indicated
that none maintained a clear and consistent statistical difference across all measures. Like
the within-group comparisons, the visual analysis revealed consistent and high daily usage
of digital technology by students in this sample, replicating the findings of the Byers and
Imms (2014, 2016) studies.
Table 6: Summary of between-group RM-ANOVA comparision of the NGLS control and traditional student
perceptions about digital technology
Incidence in use Effectiveness Effect of space
Class MS df F g
MS df F g
MS df F g
7.3 vs. 7.5 .01 1 .01 .00 1.59 1 8.75* .28 6.35 1 20.92** .48
7.4 vs. 7.6 1.48 1 15.42** .36 10.86 1 17.73** .39 8.89 1 11.58* .29
8.2 vs. 8.6 5.25 1 17.58** .24 32.00 1 68.23** .55 52.41 1 151.31** .73
8.3 vs. 8.7 3.99 1 3.68 .10 28.55 1 43.69** .55 34.65 1 32.03** .48
8.4 vs. 8.7 8.92 1 11.81** .23 14.12 1 17.14** .30 17.26 1 13.27* .25
8.5 vs. 8.7 9.99 1 13.78** .29 27.73 1 34.38** .50 27.84 1 23.70** .41
Note.*p<.05, **p<.01.
8British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016
C2016 British Educational Research Association
The effectiveness of digital technology
The analysis of responses to Scale B indicated that the students in an NGLS had a differing view
of the effectiveness of their device from their peers in the traditional classroom. The RM-ANOVAs
(Table 6), supported by post hoc analysis (Table 7), indicated a clear and consistent significant
time effect (learning space 3time) between classes: 8.2 (NC) and 8.6 (TC), 8.3 (NC) and 8.7 (TC)
and 8.5 (NC) and 8.7 (TC) across the study’s duration. Instances of overlapping CIs (p>.05) in
the post hoc analysis of the remaining comparisons meant that these did not meet the criterion of
a consistent statistical difference.
Comparison of between- and within-group analysis of responses to Scale B revealed that the stu-
dents in the NGLS tended to have a more positive perception of the effectiveness of their device
than their peers in the traditional classroom. Thereby, the replicated evidence in this sample fur-
ther strengthens the suggestion of Fisher (2010), Lippman (2010) and Yang and Huang (2015)
that different spatial layouts can impact on how teachers’ and students’ view and use
Spatial effect on student perceptions of digital technology
The analysis of responses to Scale C suggested a clear difference in how each group associ-
ated the affordances of their classroom with their perceived effectiveness of their device. The
RM-ANOVAs (Table 6), supported by post hoc analysis (Table 7) indicated a clear and con-
sistent significant time effect (learning space 3time) between classes; 7.3 (NC) and
7.5 (TC), 8.2 (NC) and 8.6 (TC), 8.3 (NC) and 8.7 (TC) and 8.5 (NC) and 8.7 (TC). These dif-
ferences suggested that the students who occupied an NGLS had a more favourable view of
the impact of the space on the use of their device, than did their peers in a traditional
The comparison of the between- and within-group analysis revealed an interesting trend about
the longer-term occupation of an NGLS. The between-group analysis to Scale C presented a
much stronger relationship between different spaces and its impact on student attitudes to digital
technology than the within-group analysis. It is thought that over an extended period, the occu-
pation of a classroom aligned with the affordances of digital technology appeared to allow
teachers time to gain the self-efficacy to alter the manner they used technology (Ertmer &
Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Such a conclusion supports the suggestion of Fisher (2010) around
the importance of the alignment between the space and technology to better support its effective
Table 7: Post hoc visual and effect size between-group comparison of the NGLS and traditional control class
perceptions to digital technology as a learning tool
Incidence of use Effectiveness Effect of space
Groups compared Visual g Visual g Visual g
7.3 vs. 7.5 NS
20.01 NS 10.95 SS
7.4 vs. 7.6 NS 10.65 NS 10.68 NS 10.60
8.2 vs. 8.6 NS 10.47 SS 11.05 SS 11.30
8.3 vs. 8.7 NS 10.29 SS 11.01 SS 10.96
8.4 vs. 8.7 NS 10.46 NS 10.59 NS 10.61
8.5 vs. 8.7 NS 10.56 SS 10.88 SS 10.85
Note. NGLS Control classes are listed first.
Nonstatistically significant visual effect.
Statistically significant visual effect.
Evaluating the change in space on 1-to-1 technology 9
C2016 British Educational Research Association
Teacher focus group
A focus group was conducted to provide a contextual explanation of the quantitative findings. Fif-
teen of the 22 consenting teachers (Teachers A to J) participated.
There was little discussion around the incidence of the use of the device. Participants considered
the device’s high use to be relatively unaffected by the different layouts, thereby supporting the
quantitative analysis of Scale A.
Some participants identified that the different spatial layouts had a significant effect on their use
of technology. Teacher C highlighted that the “NGLS layout allowed me to use Tablet PC for other
tasks, not just restricted to content delivery or presentation tool attached to the data projector.”
The shift away from the utilisation of their device as a content delivery tool was also supported by
Teachers A, B, E, G and I. Teacher B described how “in an NGLS I was less likely to have my Tab-
let connected to the data projector for the whole lesson. I found I only did this when my lesson
intent dictated this type of approach.” Teacher E agreed by saying that the “multiple visual focal
points allowed me to teach from different points each lesson.” Teacher G identified that “increased
movement, changed how I used the device. I was no longer tied to cable at the front of the room.”
Similar findings relating the polycentric layout to greater movement was found in the Byers and
Imms (2014, 2016) studies. The conversation highlighted how teachers and students incorpo-
rated the use of the Tablet PCs with the visual focal points (TVs and additional whiteboards).
Teacher D felt that unlike being tied “to the front of the room in the old classroom, the NGLS lay-
out opened the whole room for the opportunity for learning to occur in multiple locations.”
Teacher H described that “the multiple focal points better facilitated collaborative group
learning.” While, Teacher I identified that the “multiple focal points gave the opportunity for
greater differentiation. It allowed greater individual student focus.” Interestingly through the
focus group conversation, the participants appeared to integrate the digital and physical technol-
ogies into the same identity, as a visual display. Teacher choice appeared to be dictated by which
technology best served their pedagogical intent.
The nature of teacher comments around the pedagogical use of digital technology and the physi-
cal layout of the learning environment supported the statistical analysis of Scales B and C from
the LPTS survey. Teachers identified how the spatial affordances of the NGLS enabled them to use
digital technologies in a manner that had a positive impact on student learning. Teachers’
changed their use of all technologies (digital and physical) from primarily a content delivery tool
to one that enabled more collaborative and responsive learning experiences. Collectively, this sup-
ports the suggestions by Lippman (2010) and Reynard (2009) that de-emphasis of the front
fireplace teaching position can alter the pedagogical use of digital technologies.
This study evaluated the claim that different spaces enact different pedagogical uses of digital
technology. Quantitative analysis of the quasi-experimental approach suggested that the different
learning environments had a statistical impact on students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of
their Tablet PC, replicating the findings of the earlier Byers and Imms (2014, 2016) studies. Sub-
sequent analysis of the teacher focus group suggested that these differences obtained from the
quantitative analysis, stem from the greater alignment between the digital and spatial affordances
of the NGLS. These findings support the suggestions by Fisher (2010), Lippman (2010) and Yang
and Huang (2015) that the physical layout of the classroom can impact on the manner in which
students and teachers use digital technology. The findings of this study provide further evidence
that physical classroom layouts can act as a barrier to, or a conduit for, leveraging the potential
of digital technologies with the aim of making them more effective pedagogically.
10 British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016
C2016 British Educational Research Association
Not only has this study demonstrated the possible effect of different spaces on student attitudes to
digital technology, but the successful replication has also further demonstrated the robustness
and reliability of its methodology. The quasi-experimental approach facilitated by an SSRD
accounted for and moderated some confounding variables. Its ability to generate empirical data
evaluating the potential impact of different learning spaces has been shown in some studies (see
Byers & Imms, 2014, 2016). To further validate the approach, its methods and its means of anal-
ysis, further studies will be conducted in different contexts and sites.
Statements on ethics, open data and conflict of interest
A request to access data can be directed to authors. It is the preference of the authors that the
data is used for comparative and meta-analysis studies, which are focused on the use of digital
technology in a secondary school setting. The authors are interested in replicating this study, in
different contexts, to investigate how different learning spaces affect the use of digital technology
by teachers and student. All student data is de-identified and the site of the research is protected
under the terms of the research agreement and the University of Melbourne Human Research
Ethics Committee application #1238792.
This work is the sole work of the named authors. It has not been previously published or submit-
ted for simultaneous publication. The research was conducted in compliance with the University
of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee application #1238792. Consent to submit is
given by all authors.
The authors foresee no potential conflicts of interest in the work reported in this study. The
research that is the subject was derived through the Australian Research Council project ‘Evalu-
ating 21st Century Learning Environments’ (E21LE). The project aims to develop
multidisciplinary evaluation strategies for the new generation of learning environments. A key
element of the project is to develop, test and refine of tools, such as the Linking Pedagogy, Tech-
nology and Space survey instrument, and statistical techniques. This study serves as a report on
such an approach and disseminate information pertaining to the E21LE project.
Arbelaiz, A. M. & Gorospe, J. M. C. (2009). Can the grammar of schooling be changed? Computers & Educa-
tion,53, 51–56. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.016
Baguley, T. (2012). Calculating and graphing within-subject confidence intervals for ANOVA. Behavior
Research Methods,44, 158–175. doi:10.3758/s13428-011-0123-7
Bigum, C. & Rowan, L. (2008). Landscaping on shifting ground: teacher education in a digitally transform-
ing world. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education,36, 245–255. doi:10.1080/13598660802232787
Bingimlas, K. A. (2009). Barriers to the successful integration of ICT in teaching and learning environ-
ments: a review of the literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education,5,
Byers, T. & Imms, W. (2014). Making the space for space: the effect of the classroom layout on teacher and stu-
dent usage and perception of one-to-one technology. Paper presented at the 26th Australian Computers in
Education Conference, Adelaide.
Byers, T. & Imms, W. (2016). Evaluating the change in space in a technology-enabled primary years set-
ting. In K. Fisher (Ed.), The translation design of schools: an evidence based approach to aligning pedagogy and
learning environment design (pp. 215–236). The Netherlands: Sense.
Ertmer, P. A. & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T. (2010). Teacher technology change: how knowledge, confi-
dence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education,42, 255–284. doi:
Fisher, K. D. (2004). Revoicing classrooms: a spatial manifesto. Forum,46, 36–38. doi:10.2304/
Evaluating the change in space on 1-to-1 technology 11
C2016 British Educational Research Association
Fisher, K. D. (2006). The new learning environment: hybrid designs for hybrid learning. Retrieved 5 October
2012, from Melbourne
Fisher, K. D. (2010). Technology-enabled active learning environments: an appraisal. Centre for Effective
Learning Environments Exchange,2010, 1–8. doi:10.1787/5kmbjxzrmc0p-en
Gliem, J. A. & Gliem, R. R. (2003). Calculating, interpreting, and reporting cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient
for likert-type scales. Paper presented at the Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continu-
ing, and Community Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
Lackney, J. A. (2008). Teacher environmental competence in elementary school environments. Children,
Youth and Environments,18, 133–159.
Lippman, P. C. (2010). Can the physical environment have an impact on the learning environment?
Centre for Effective Learning Environments,2010, 1–5. doi:10.1787/5km4g21wpwr1-en
Peugh, J. L. & Enders, C. K. (2004). Missing data in educational research: a review of reporting practices
and suggestions for improvement. Review of Educational Research,74, 525–556. doi:10.3102/
Reynard, R. (2009). Designing learning spaces for instruction, not control. Campus Technology. Retrieved
6 June 2014, from
Selwyn, N. (2010). Schools and schooling in the digital age: a critical analysis. New York: Routledge.
Tamim, R. M., Lowerison, G., Schmid, R. F., Bernard, R. M. & Abrami, P. C. (2011). A multi-year investi-
gation of the relationship between pedagogy, computer use and course effectiveness in postsecondary
education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education,23, 1–14. doi:10.1007/s12528-010-9041-4
Tyack, D. & Tobin, W. (1994). The “grammar” of schooling: why has it been so hard to change? American
Educational Research Journal,31, 453–479. doi:10.3102/00028312031003453
Yang, J. & Huang, R. (2015). Development and validation of a scale for evaluating technology-rich class-
room environment. Journal of Computers in Education,2, 145–162. doi:10.1007/s40692-015-0029-y
12 British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 00 No 00 2016
C2016 British Educational Research Association
... e weight value obtained by the combined weight model is used to adjust the connection weight in the network to minimize E [16,17]. e formula of the connection weight adjustment between the hidden layer node k and the node p is as equation (14): ...
... . (16) (4) Determination of other parameters of genetic algorithm e model population size is set to 35 and the termination condition is as follows: ...
Full-text available
Under the background of “Internet plus,” the opportunities and challenges that college students face in the process of innovation and entrepreneurship coexist. College students should make full use of the powerful function of the Internet to excavate the huge business opportunities hidden under the background of “Internet plus.” In the context of “Internet plus” of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, the quantitative analysis method is studied in the context of wireless network technology on college students’ innovation and entrepreneurship. This paper proposes a combined weight model and an evaluation model based on genetic fuzzy optimization neural network. This research initially establishes an evaluation index system (EIS) by analyzing the influence factors of wireless network technology on college students’ innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, EIS is also analyzed by combining the objective weight of each index obtained by the entropy with the subjective weight of each index obtained by the analytic hierarchy process to construct a combined weight model. A genetic algorithm is used to optimize fuzzy optimization neural networks and establish an evaluation index system of wireless network technology based on genetic fuzzy optimization neural network. To minimize the output error, the function of output error is used as the fitness evaluation function to output the score after several iterations. The experimental results show that the evaluation model can determine the importance of the influencing factors of wireless network technology on college students’ innovation and entrepreneurship. It is further evident from the experiments that the proposed model has high accuracy, with the average relative error always less than 1%, which can further improve the effect of quantitative analysis. The proposed model also has a fast convergence speed that can prevent local minima.
... Touch screen technology and wireless networks, along with the 1 to 1 technology (one student per device) philosophy, have provided students and instructors with new approaches to integrating technology into teaching and learning. Physical learning environments, according to (Byers, Hartnell-Young et al., 2018), impact instructors' pedagogical use of digital technological resources. Malaysia's Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is now in its third phase, which runs from 2020 to 2025 (Avalos, 2011). ...
... Earlier quasi-experimental studies at this site (see Byers, Hartnell-Young, & Imms, 2016;, 2016Byers, Imms, & Hartnell-Young, 2014;) explored the impact of traditional and ILEs on teaching and learning. ...
Full-text available
The very nature of what constitutes an effective learning environment is undergoing substantial re-imagination. Authors have suggested that the affordances of existing learning spaces, often termed conventional or traditional classrooms, is limited and constrains the possible pedagogies available to teachers. Architects, authors and governments have put forward innovative learning environments (ILEs) as a better alternative. ILEs provide affordances thought to be somewhat better at providing to students learning needs than traditional classrooms, particularly in terms of creative and critical thinking, and collaborative and communicative workers. However, there is little evidence available to show of either spatial type (traditional classroom or ILE) performs pedagogically to either hinder or support the desired approach/es to teaching and learning being sought by current educational policies. One could suggest that a populistic narrative often drives the growing investment in new school learning spaces, facilitated by a vacuum of credible evidence of their impact. This paper will report findings from a three-year study that tracked the practices over time of secondary school Engineering, Mathematics and Science teachers ( n = 23) as they occupied two quite dissimilar spatial layouts. The Linking Pedagogy, Technology, and Space (LPTS) observational metric, with its provision of instantaneous quantitative visual analysis, was used to track their practice, and student learning, in a variety of spatial layouts. Subsequent analysis identified broad trends within the data to identify those factors, spatial, subject or confounding teacher factors, which influenced student and teacher activities and behaviours. Importantly, it presented new evidence that works against the current, overt focus on contemporary spatial design. It suggests that greater emphasis on unpacking, and then developing, the mediating influence of teacher spatial competency (how, when and why one uses the given affordances of space for pedagogical gain) is required for any space to performance pedagogically.
Full-text available
The goal of this chapter is to assess research that can inform understandings of places and spaces of learning.The chapter assesses evidence across three types of learning spaces: built spaces, digital spaces, and natural spaces. It looks at the role of these different kinds of spaces for learning, attainment, interpersonal relationships, skills development, wellbeing and behaviours ‒ across four pillars of learning to know, to be, to do and to live together. The chapter also explores how learning spaces can be actively shaped, felt and understood through practices and policies that occur within and around them.
Full-text available
This chapter assesses ways to identify and support children with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities affect many students and are seldom attributable to a single cause. They arise through complex interactions between biological and environmental factors within individual developmental trajectories. Early identification of children at risk for learning disabilities as well as adequate identification of children with learning disabilities are important for ensuring that children have access to the supports they need in order to reach their full potential. Here, we discuss identifying children’s learning needs and providing educational support. Although many school systems recognize the need to provide inclusive education to support all learners, more work is needed to raise awareness and enable adequate evidence-based early identification of children with learning disabilities and support their learning trajectories and instructional needs inside and outside of the classroom. It is also fundamental to acknowledge the importance of research on diverse populations that could inform identification and support in various countries and socio-cultural contexts.
This study explores teachers' practice and aims to understand the complexity of and the difference between teacher-centred teaching and student-centred learning in the one-to-one computing classroom. Generally, prior research has examined moving from teacher-centred teaching to student-centred learning. Here, we scrutinise one-to-one computing practices in Grades 1–6 in Finland by analysing how power and control emerge from the way teachers organise the physical classroom and communicate in practice. We target variations in practical classroom orchestration as well as in how teachers reason about their practice. A mixed-method analysis was conducted in two phases, including 15 classroom observations and subsequent teacher interviews. First, a quantitative analysis displayed three clusters of ways teachers distributed power and control in their classroom orchestration. Second, the clusters were integrated in a qualitative analysis of the interviews. The findings show that the variations of teacher practice depended on their beliefs and higher-order learning goals related student autonomy in the use of material resources. It also showed a variation in the way teachers scaffolded students’ individual work and created collaborative learning opportunities. In the one-to-one computing classroom, this emerges from issues that teachers can control inside school regarding the use and organisation of material resources. However, another factor that made teachers adapt their practice was the integration of heterogeneous student groups into their classrooms.
Mothers are both users of digital media and facilitators of children’s use, yet little research has explored how these intersecting points of digital interaction shape their mothering experience. This thesis explored how the growing importance placed on digital media use for everyday societal functions impacts the role and experience of mothering in the home. Qualitative interviews with mothers revealed that changes in the digital learning practices of schools, and the need to maintain a digital umbilical cord with children, increased ownership and use of digital devices in the home. Time-poverty was alleviated and exacerbated by mother’s own use of digital media and intensified by the need to manage children’s use. The study concludes that contemporary mothering manifests as digital mothering, a state that is experienced and interceded through complex interactions with digital media in the home.
Full-text available
The role played by innovative educational environments to support learning for the 21st century has attracted the interest of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development at the global governance level and at the national policy level internationally. This article draws on global, European and Australasian research and data from a qualitative study of consultation and participation in the development of innovative and flexible learning spaces in the New Zealand context. It focuses specifically on the role of parents, drawing data from relevant policies and documents, a parent questionnaire and interviews of parents, architects and Ministry of Education Delivery Managers, responsible for delivering large capital works projects. While the architect participants believe their bold designs are inspirational and promote new pedagogical styles, and positive relationships, some parents view these open-plan learning areas (and associated pedagogies) as needlessly experimental, placing the needs and education of their children at risk. Delivery Managers are focussed on seeing the projects to conclusion, on time and on budget. The critical analysis considers the findings in relation to the research question and reflects on the dual themes of innovation and risk. Further questions for research are suggested.
Full-text available
Research has shown that Flexible learning spaces have benefits in educational settings. The space has an impact on teachers' pedagogies and mindsets. In turn, instruction can be more student-centered promoting more interaction and engagement with each other and content. These findings imply that Flexible Learning Spaces can contribute to positive shifts in mindsets for teachers and students, as well as disrupting the dynamics of traditional classroom settings and instruction.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report proposes a framework to guide investments in education infrastructure so they can better contribute to students' learning outcomes. An education perspective is embedeed to the traditional construction process along four distinct phases, from initial brief to post-occupancy. A marginal additional investment cost that we believe can make an importatn difference.
Full-text available
In response to the modest use of technology in most classrooms without significant influence on learning, much research has been done on the design of classroom, but the research on assessing the technology-rich classroom has lagged behind considerably. This paper aimed to develop and validate a scale for evaluating technology-rich classroom. In this paper, a framework was proposed to evaluate the technology-rich classroom environment on the physical and psychosocial aspects. Then, we conducted a survey to confirm the structure and the internal consistency reliability of the scale based on the proposed framework. The results indicated that the scale was useful for evaluating technology-rich classroom environment, as the results of evaluation provided informative references about how to improve classroom environments to enhance engaged learning.
Full-text available
Despite increases in computer access and technology training, technology is not being used to support the kinds of instruction believed to be most powerful. In this paper, we examine technology integration through the lens of the teacher as an agent of change: What are the necessary characteristics, or qualities, that enable teachers to leverage technology resources as meaningful pedagogical tools? To answer this question, we discuss the literature related to four variables of teacher change: knowledge, self-efficacy, pedagogical beliefs, and subject and school culture. Specifically, we propose that teachers’ mindsets must change to include the idea that “teaching is not effective without the appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICT) resources to facilitate student learning.” Implications are discussed in terms of both teacher education and professional development programs.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Today, a significant proportion of Australian secondary school students have some level of access to digital technology through one-to-one or BYOD programs. This ubiquitous access to devices connected through wireless network can create a technology-enabled learning environments (TELE). The teacher-student connectivity of a TELE has the potential to facilitate more collaborative and responsive learning experiences in modalities that may have not been possible before. Despite these significant changes, many students occupy classroom spaces that have changed little in configuration, structure and operation. This paper reports on the first stage intervention of a three stage quasi-experimental study. The study explored the synergy between technology-enabled and responsive learning spaces and its effects on teaching and learning in a Secondary school setting. The stage one intervention sought to determine if a causal relationship existed between particular layouts and how teachers' and students' perceived the incidence in usage and the influence and effectiveness of one-to-one technology. A single-subject research design (SSRD) measured the effect of two types of classroom layouts through an explanatory mixed method design. Results from quantitative analyses over a one-year period indicated a more responsive and dynamic physical learning space did have a positive effect on student perceptions of the effectiveness and influence of one-to-one technology on their learning. These quantitative findings were corroborated through thematic analysis of teacher focus groups. Collectively this evidence suggests that the arrangement of the physical learning space can assist teachers to better integrate the affordances of technology into their pedagogical practice.
Full-text available
Missing data analyses have received considerable recent attention in the methodological literature, and two “modern” methods, multiple imputation and maximum likelihood estimation, are recommended. The goals of this article are to (a) provide an overview of missing-data theory, maximum likelihood estimation, and multiple imputation; (b) conduct a methodological review of missing-data reporting practices in 23 applied research journals; and (c) provide a demonstration of multiple imputation and maximum likelihood estimation using the Longitudinal Study of American Youth data. The results indicated that explicit discussions of missing data increased substantially between 1999 and 2003, but the use of maximum likelihood estimation or multiple imputation was rare; the studies relied almost exclusively on listwise and pairwise deletion.
This book presents a wide-ranging and critical exploration of a topic that lies at the heart of contemporary education. The use of digital technology is now a key feature of schools and schooling around the world. Yet despite its prominence, technology use continues to be an area of education that rarely receives sustained critical attention and thought, especially from those people who are most involved and affected by it. Technology tends to be something that many teachers, learners, parents, policy-makers and even academics approach as a routine rather than reflective matter. Tackling the wider picture, addressing the social, cultural, economic, political and commercial aspects of schools and schooling in the digital age, this book offers to make sense of what happens, and what does not happen, when the digital and the educational come together in the guise of schools technology. In particular, the book examines contemporary schooling in terms of social justice, equality and participatory democracy. Seeking to re-politicise an increasingly depoliticised area of educational debate and analysis, setting out to challenge the many contradictions that characterise the field of education technology today, the author concludes by suggesting what forms schools and schooling in the digital age could, and should, take. This is the perfect volume for anyone interested in the application and use of technology in education, as well as the education policy and politics that surround it; many will also find its innovative proposals for technology use an inspiration for their own teaching and learning.
How can designers create more innovative and sustainable learning environments? This paper argues in favour of challenging best practice” generally accepted by the architectural profession by embracing a responsive design approach. Such an approach accepts that the environment shapes the learner, and that learners influence their environment...
Why have the established institutional forms of schooling been so stable and why did most challenges fade or become marginalized? We approach these questions by probing a few case studies of reform, some that lasted to become part of the grammar of schooling and some that did not. We begin by exploring the origins of two enduring institutional forms, the graded school and the Carnegie unit. Next we analyze the history of three transient attacks on the grammar of schooling: the Dalton Plan, the Eight-Year Study, and the new model flexible high school of the 1960s. In each case political and institutional perspectives inform our interpretations. Finally, we reflect on what the case studies suggest about the nature of institutional continuity and change and offer some policy implications for reform today.
Teacher environmental competence, the ability to understand and effectively use physical instructional space for a pedagogical advantage, continues to receive limited attention in education. Exploring the perceptions of 20 teachers at five urban elementary schools, this study investigates teachers' understanding and effective use of the physical environment to meet instructional goals. It examines organizational factors that contribute to poor environmental competence in school environments. The action research approach employed in this study includes a set of interconnected training, research and action activities. Once teachers were introduced to a means of communicating their environmental experience through the training component, they were able to articulate specific environmental concerns, see their interrelationship, and make judgments of priority. The paper suggests avenues for raising the environmental competence of educators within the context of educational reforms advocating for collaborative, learner-centered environments.