Research into students’ perceptions of their learning environments reveals the impact of these perceptions on the way students cope with these learning environments. Consequently, students’ perceptions affect the results of their learning. This study aims to investigate whether students in a new learning environment (nle) perceive it to be more constructivist when compared with the perceptions students have of a conventional lecture-based environment. Using a questionnaire consisting of seven key factors of constructivist learning environments, the results show that students in the nle perceive it to be more constructivist when compared to the perceptions of students in a conventional lecture-based environment. The difference was statistically significant for four of the seven factors. According to the effect size, as measured by the d-index, the difference in perception between the two groups was greatest for the factor ‘conceptual conflicts and dilemmas’.