Symposium: Improving Learning Environments

Plenary Presentations

Presentation 1:

Improving Learning Environments: How should we think about them? Where do we begin? (1-1.5 hrs to include time for discussion)

“Learning environment refers to the social interactions, organizational culture and structures, and physical and virtual spaces that surround and shape the learners’ experiences, perceptions and learning.”

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the key components of the learning environment
  • Describe evidence-based strategies used to improve the learning environment
  • Articulate future directions for scholarship and practice to improve learning environments in the health professions

Presentation 2:

Exemplary Learning Environments: A Vision (1 hr?)

“Learning environments in the health professions can be viewed as complex adaptive systems. Using the principles of complex adaptive systems we can identify characteristics of exemplary learning environments”

Participants will be able to:

  • List characteristics of complex adaptive systems
  • Describe learning environments through the lens of complex adaptive systems
  • Articulate a vision for an optimal learning environment

Presentation 3:

Exemplary learning environments: Integration of diverse perspectives to achieve success.

The organizational psychology literature proposes that the term diversity represents three distinct constructs: 1)Variety: differences in information, knowledge or experience among members of an organization or group; 2) Separation: differences in position or opinion among members; and 3) Disparity: differences in concentration of valued social assets or resources.


Washington State University