Affordances and Core Functions of Smart Learning Environments: A Systematic Literature Review Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2021

start page

  • 129

end page

  • 145

issue

  • 2

volume

  • 14

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1939-1382

abstract

  • Smart learning environments (SLEs) have gained considerable momentum in the last 20 years. The term SLE has emerged to encompass a set of recent trends in the field of educational technology, heavily influenced by the growing impact of technologies, such as cloud services, mobile devices, and interconnected objects. However, the term SLE has been used inconsistently by the technology-enhanced learning (TEL) community since different research works employ the adjective "smart" to refer to different aspects of novel learning environments. Previous surveys on SLEs are narrowly focused on specific technologies or remain at a theoretical level that does not discuss practical implications found in empirical studies. To address this inconsistency and also to contribute to a common understanding of the SLE concept, this article presents a systematic literature review of papers published between 2000 and 2019 discussing SLEs in empirical studies. Sixty-eight papers out of an initial list of 1341 papers were analyzed to identify the following: 1) what affordances make a learning environment smart; 2) which technologies are used in SLEs; and 3) in what pedagogical contexts are SLEs used. Considering the limitations of previous surveys, and the inconsistent use of the SLE concept in the TEL community, this article presents a comprehensive characterization to describe SLEs through their affordances, the technologies used, and pedagogical approaches considered in the selected papers. As a result, specific core functions of SLEs are identified and explained. This work aims at ensuring a relevant knowledge base and reference toward the implementation of future SLEs.

keywords

  • smart learning environments (sles); systematic literature review (slr); technology-enhanced learning (tel)