Developing a Taxonomy of Informal Learning Space

David C.W. Chin, Cathy Hui-chun Hsu, Kin Tung Yau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleTeaching and learningpeer-review


The move from traditional teaching centred approach to student centred approach has resulted in more student collaboration outside classroom, contributing to the growing importance of information learning space (ILS). Review of recent literature suggests the ILS research agenda is at an initial stage of development, without convergence in research methods and lacks theoretical underpinning. Research studies were conducted on a piece meal basis, lacking comparability and generalization. Using a mixed method approach, this study contributes to ILS knowledge by introducing a qualitative methodology based on concept mapping and sorting for idea generation to develop a taxonomy of four user generated ILS types from a portfolio of 38 ILS sites on campus. This is followed by quantitative validation using seven ILS sites to evaluate satisfaction and usage behaviour. Drawing from middle range theory and the ILS taxonomy, practical design principles are proposed based on functionalities and features for the four ILS types. The learnings can be shared with designers, policy makers and different institutions to facilitate knowledge transfer, which contributes to generalization of
learnings and theory building.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-105
JournalInternational Journal of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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