Designing for Creative Learning Environments
In this chapter, we discuss fundamental principles that define a creative learning environment and how these can be integrated into pedagogical design. Utilizing research, a creative environment instrument, and diverse learning settings as a springboard, we emphasize the link between a learning environment’s design and how it nurtures creativity. We propose the use of the SCALE (Support for Creativity in a Learning Environment) instrument (Richardson & Mishra, 2018) as a frame for understanding and evaluating the characteristics of creative learning environments. Using the SCALE’s constructs—characteristics of the environment, learning climate, and learner engagement—as benchmarks, we consider how these offer criteria to build into the design of learning environments. We examine the theoretical underpinnings of creativity, creative environments, and learning, identifying gaps in classroom research that the SCALE instrument can bridge. This chapter discusses applications of these principles across various environments, including online and blended spaces, acknowledging that different environments present distinctive affordances, opportunities, constraints, and possibilities. Our implications take a future-oriented perspective on online creative learning environment design in both research and practice.