Co-constructing teaching and learning in higher education: a literature review of practices and implications




socio-cultural perspective, active and peer learning pedagogy, constructivist learning, higher education


The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the assumptions and practices taking place in co-constructed learning spaces within higher education research literature, specifically for undergraduate students. This paper provides an overview of how co-constructed methods take shape in the university classroom and how those methods benefit student learning. A literature search was conducted via education-focused databases using search terms such as ‘higher education’, ‘co-constructed learning’, and ‘sociocultural’. Only primary, empirical articles published after 2007 were included for review, with one exception from 2002. Implications for student learning are discussed within four core thematic outcomes (skill development, engagement, meaning-making, having purpose) and two activators (learning through relationships, creating a safe space). Implications for teachers include a discussion of teaching methods, classroom activities, and the role of teachers. Rooted in theories of constructivist, sociocultural, and third space learning, this review of the literature provides rationale for exploring alternatives to traditional pedagogical methods, highlights barriers, facilitators, and potential downfalls of co-constructed learning spaces, and discusses implications for student learning and for teachers.

Author Biography

Brianna Vespone, University of Rochester

Brianna Vespone is a doctoral student at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, USA. Both her career and research interests focus on theories of teaching and learning that support good practices for meaningful learning in the university classroom.



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How to Cite

Vespone, B. (2023) “Co-constructing teaching and learning in higher education: a literature review of practices and implications”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (27). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi27.997.