Optimize Learning Outcomes

More Evidence Greening Schoolyards a Good Idea (03-07-14)

Previous research has shown that educational advantages accrue when vegetation is visible through school windows (for example, see Designing for Play).  Kelz and her colleagues “investigated the influence of a redesign (greening) of a [middle school] schoolyard on pupils’ [average age 14.4 years] physiological stress, psychological well-being, and executive functioning.” Research was conducted at three schools in rural Austria and “The renovated schoolyard significantly diminished pupils’ physiolog

Educational Implications of Classroom Design (02-28-14)

How do open plan classrooms in middle schools stack up against other sorts of learning spaces?  Dovey and Fisher identified “Five primary plan types . . . ranging from the traditional classroom through various degrees of convertibility to permanently open plans. . . . We find that the most popular types have high levels of convertibility. . . . We also suggest that the most open of plans, while cheaper to build, are not the most agile or fluid.”

Academic Design Resources (12-11-13)

A number of tools useful to people designing academic environments are available free of charge at the web address noted below.  The site was developed by North Carolina State University Libraries, brightspot strategy and AECOM “to design, share, and promote an updated model for institutions to plan and support technology-rich informal learning spaces.” The Learning Space Toolkit “include[s] a roadmap to guide the process along with tools and techniques for assessin