A framework informing the interplay of physical, digital and social spaces in supporting an environment for active learning

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This study aims to provide insights from the STEM and non-STEM perspectives on the interplay of the physical, digital and social spaces in supporting active learning processes (constructivism, collaboration and self-regulation) explored through the Social Interdependence Theory (SIT). Specifically, the fluid movement between physical and digital learning spaces may subconsciously influence how lecturers should teach. This study adopts a mixed-methods approach, supplementing quantitative questionnaires with qualitative data from semi-structured interviews. There were eight STEM and four non-STEM lecturers from an established private university in Malaysia who volunteered for this study. Data from the semi-structured interviews were analysed using the codebook analysis as a form of thematic analysis. To this end, the seating arrangement in a classroom may indicate to students how information should be transmitted, informal gatherings build social bonds and teaching and grades may affect collaboration. In relation to the five constructs of SIT, we suggest the CPC (Cohesiveness, Participation, Collaboration) active learning framework for considering the interplay of the three spaces mentioned within the evolving pedagogies and the learning process. Specifically, cohesiveness which sits at the core of the framework, provides a pivotal support for the other two dimensions, that is, participation and collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • active learning
  • cohesiveness
  • collaboration
  • Hospitable learning spaces
  • participation

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