Formal Learning Spaces in Higher Education – a Systematic Review

Marie Leijon*, Ivar Nordmo, Åsa Tieva, Rie Troelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Over the past ten years, there has been an increasing focus on physical learning spaces in higher education. By now, what do we really know about the relation between space and student learning? What does the research landscape look like, and how has it developed? A systematic review of peer-reviewed 108 articles on the physical learning space for the period 2009–2019 was performed. A broad and fragmented field emerged that is to some extent under-researched and under-theorized. Few articles contain theory sections, and very few authors refer to each other’s work in their articles. On the other hand, a diversity of themes, methods and perspectives can be seen. Overall, the review can contribute to an overview of what we know–and what we do not know–about the complex relationship between student learning and learning spaces.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30. Apr 2022


  • Systematic review
  • formal learning spaces
  • higher education
  • learning
  • teaching


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