For a student, a positive learning environment can translate into the following characteristics which are all linked to their academic and personal success.
- Social connectedness
- Positive self-esteem
- Healthy living
Within the university context, students’ health and well-being have been shown to be positively correlated with academic success and learning (El Ansari & Stock, 2010; DeBerard, Spielmans & Julka, 2004; Larsons, 2000; University of Minnesota, 2008). Student well-being also has a positive influence on retention and the student experience (DeBerard et al., 2004; Hoffman, 2002). “It is widely accepted that health and well-being are essential elements for effective learning” (El Ansari & Stalk, 2010, p. 2).
Benefits to Faculty Members
Faculty members who consider well-being report that their students are more engaged and that they see positive benefits in terms of class participation and student feedback on course evaluations. In addition, several professors report that the teaching practices they use to create conditions for well-being save them time and energy because students are working more cooperatively together and are therefore able to solve some of their own challenges. Most importantly, using teaching practices to enhance well-being in the learning environment can benefit faculty members' own well-being in addition to that of their students.
For detailed background information and references that support this project, see “Well-being in Learning Environments: SFU Health Promotion Rationale”.