How Classroom Design Affects Learning

How Classroom Design Affects Learning

November 4, 2016

Classroom learning is a traditional method found in schools across the globe. While teaching technique has a clear influence on student attentiveness and information retention, new studies have shown that the design of the classroom itself also plays a vital role in the learning process. Thus, the architectural development of classrooms and schools that create an environment that facilitates learning should be an important consideration when designing or updating modern learning institutions.

Classroom Characteristics and Student Progress

There are several design details and characteristics that can impact the atmosphere and environment in a classroom. A recent study, performed by the University of Salford in partnership with an experienced architectural firm, aimed to identify a number of classroom characteristics and their combined effect on student progress over time. These characteristics included lighting, air quality, noise levels, color, and spatial flexibility. After a year of examination, results were released stating that classroom environmental factors can affect student progress by as much as 25% over the course of an academic year. This is similar to the average expected amount of student progress in a year—thus, placing a student in a highly-ineffective learning environment has the potential to stall his academic achievements significantly.

Designing Better Classrooms

Because the classroom environment is so crucial to learning, developing an optimal design could improve general student progress across the board. Some of the most effective classroom designs incorporate concepts such as learning zones, comfortable and flexible seating arrangements, and color schemes aimed to promote mental focus and creativity. Attention to classroom orientation or potential noise sources, as well as the inclusion of natural light and the improvement of indoor air quality, can also boost student comfort for better attentiveness and positive academic progress.

At Sears Gerbo Architecture, our Tucson-based architecture firm excels in the design, planning, and programming of a wide range of functional buildings, including higher education institutions, federal facilities, lab environments, and corporate offices. We invite you to explore our services and our past projects on our website, or reach out to us by phone today at (520) 722-5079.

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