a framework for designing student learning environments for the future

What is flow?

Flow relates to both a state of mind and the movement through physical space. Flow could be the term used to describe the state of mind felt by the learner when they are totally immersed in the learning experience. When there are no distractions attention can be focused on what is being learnt and new knowledge can be created. Flow is a timeless experience – over the ages creative people have described the moments of great discoveries in different ways that essentially point to the same experience. Whether being spoken to by the muse or being ‘in the zone’, the feeling when creative learning and knowledge generation is occurring is a highly focused state of consciousness, total immersion of the self in the activity, and a sense of connectedness, achievement and well being once the experience is over.

The quality of ‘flow’ is one of the expected outcomes of adopting the SKG aesthetic.   It is a commonplace to say that universities want students to be engaged with what they are learning.

Our research suggests several ways that the feeling of flow can be engendered, or at least not hampered, on the university campus.

  • Spaces for quiet study and contemplation
  • Stimulating environments that encourage collaboration
  • Comfortable environment
  • Welcoming and safe environment
  • Appropriate technology that works
  • Campus is easy to navigate

Flow in international and local settings

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