Learning environment designs at the boundary of school and work can be characterised as integrative because they integrate features from the contexts of school and work. Many different manifestations of such integrative learning environments are found in current vocational education, both in senior secondary education and higher professional education. However, limited research has focused on how to design these learning environments and not much is known about their designable elements (i.e. the epistemic, spatial, instrumental, temporal and social elements that constitute the learning environments). The purpose of this study was to examine manifestations of two categories of integrative learning environment designs: designs based on incorporation; and designs based on hybridisation. Cross-case analysis of six cases in senior secondary vocational education and higher professional education in the Netherlands led to insights into the designable elements of both categories of designs. We report findings about the epistemic, spatial, instrumental, temporal and social elements of the studied cases. Specific characteristics of designs based on incorporation and designs based on hybridisation were identified and links between the designable elements became apparent, thus contributing to a deeper understanding of the design of learning environments that aim to connect the contexts of school and work.
- Activity Centred Analysis and Design (ACAD) model
- Curriculum design
- Designable elements
- Integrative learning environments
- Multiple case study
- School–work boundary