Student-centered, open learning environments: Research, theory, and practice

Michael J. Hannafin, Janette R. Hill, Susan M. Land, Eunbae Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

63 Scopus citations


New learning environment designs and frameworks have emerged that are consistent with constructivist-inspired views of learning. Collectively, student-centered, open learning environments provide contexts wherein the individual determines learning goals, learning means, or both the learning goals and means. The individual may also establish and pursue individual learning goals with few or no external boundaries as typical during spontaneous, self-initiated learning from the Web. The approaches represent fundamentally different learning and design paradigms and philosophies. However, student or self-directed learning has been criticized for lacking compelling evidence to document effectiveness. As new models emerge and technologies develop, we need to both document evidence that supports and challenges student-centered approaches and refine our approaches to designing effective environments. This chapter provides an overview and critical analysis of student-centered learning, and proposes directions for advancing needed research, theory, and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781461431855
ISBN (Print)9781461431848
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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