Learning may occur in a variety of physical locations, such as lecture theatres, seminar rooms, laboratories, workshops or field centres. The types of learning activity in each of these situations are often characteristic.
Apart from the physical location, the learning environment also encompasses teaching delivery and approaches to learning. Examine these from the perspective of disabled learners and consider how you can adapt your practice to facilitate the participation of these students and to ensure an appropriate and inclusive learning experience.
Think about the skills a student requires to take part in the various learning environments. These may be visual, auditory or tactile skills. They may be related to language, perception, memory, concentration or other attributes that are easily taken for granted. A lack of or a difficulty with any of these skills or attributes may affect knowledge acquisition, construction and assimilation. This in turn will affect your teaching delivery and strategies and how learning materials are used.
If you teach in laboratories, workshops and studios, or on field or study trips, look in particular at the section on practical environments.
E-learning and virtual learning environments (VLEs) are increasingly used in higher education and it is important to consider how they impact on disabled students.
Students may spend the majority of their time in private study and you should consider any constraints or barriers that may affect their learning in this environment and what you can do to assist.