This communication respects to an important theme either in face-to-face teaching or in distance teaching: the learning environments. In a first part it is described the history of the learning environments' research, highlighting the lines at international level in this field. In a second part of this communication we seek, based on diverse studies (Cunningham, Duffy and Knuth, 1993, Jonassen, 1994, Savery & Duffy, 1995, Jonassen and Tessmer, 1996, Brooks and Brooks, 1993, 1999, etc.) and on the works developed by a group of researchers, including the author of this communication, to define the so called constructivist and investigative learning environments and discuss its main general characteristics, with particular emphasis to the cooperative work, multiple representations, pedagogical relationships, metacognition and some others aspects that are underlying to its implementation. In the third and last part it is highlighted the fundamental importance that these environments have in the online teaching when we intend to have a social presence, a cognitive presence and a teaching presence (Garrison & Anderson, 2003).