About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5008-5019
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.2195

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


K. Castinado, W. Lawson, S. Scott, V. Jani

Kansas State University (UNITED STATES)
Technological advances in the 21st century are creating a shift in study skills and educational environments from books and handwriting to computers and hand held devices. The movement of the fixtures within an informal collaborative environment leaves opportunity for students to customize their study experience. The research that the team conducted was about difficulties and obstacles in multiple informal collaborative learning environments. Research conducted was in collaboration with a manufacturing research team. The intention of this research was to assist in future education-based products. The scope of the study was limited to college-aged students (18-22) in informal collaborative learning spaces. The study was focused on understanding the interaction between learners, the immediate environment, technology, and spatial transformations. The research team was interested in understanding how students communicated in small group settings with one another. The research team observed and documented the students’ proximity to each other, posture, and ways of communicating. Informal environments included work surfaces, seating, and collaborative elements. All these methods were tested using a variety of information gathering techniques. The research team documented changes that happened in the learning environments on and around the Midwestern University. The university library was used as the location for the research because the population in the space represented the variety of students effectively. The researchers focused on qualitative methods including one on one interviews, observations, and quantitative surveys. Using these research techniques, the researchers found that 44% of students preferred to work on group projects in a library because it was a space they could all identify with. The researchers also found that students needed to use collaborative tools, such as white boards and media-scapes, but they were not abundant and many students did not know they had access to these tools. While many students’ ideal location was the library, 60% indicated that private spaces for group work were not readily available. The university library had a variety of private spaces for individual work, but lacked private spaces that could accommodate more than two people. In conclusion, the researchers found that the pain-points and work-arounds of informal collaborative learning environments were directly linked to technological needs, acoustical and visual privacy, and customization of workspaces.
author = {Castinado, K. and Lawson, W. and Scott, S. and Jani, V.},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.2195},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.2195},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5008-5019}}
AU - K. Castinado AU - W. Lawson AU - S. Scott AU - V. Jani
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.2195
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 5008
EP - 5019
ER -
K. Castinado, W. Lawson, S. Scott, V. Jani (2016) DIFFICULTIES OF COLLABORATION IN INFORMAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 5008-5019.