Optimize Learning Outcomes

Build in Flexibility (07-14-15)

Applied research at Harvard University indicates the value of creating flexible academic environments and coordinating new space types with desired educational experiences.  A number of new learning spaces have been created at Harvard but one is of particular note: “’SciBox,’ a black box space incomplete with unfinished walls and only portions painted; the room itself has the look and feel of a friendly warehouse. [Harvard physicist Melissa Franklin] wanted to create an atmosphere where it was okay to ‘break stuff.’ . . . Leaving the space unfinished turned out to be a huge challenge.

Thermal Comfort in Schools Depends (02-16-15)

Data collected by de Dear and his team indicates that primary and secondary school students’ assessments of the temperatures in schools depends on their life experiences.  As the researchers detail “An indoor operative temperature of about 22.5°C was found to be the students’ neutral and preferred temperature, which is generally cooler than expected for adults. . . . Despite the lower-than-expected neutrality, the school children demonstrated considerable adaptability to indoor temperature variations. . . .

Teachers’ Assessments of Classrooms (01-21-15)

Kok, Mobach, and Omta collected additional evidence indicating that environmental conditions are perceived to influence student performance.  They learned via a survey of teachers at Dutch universities that “there is a statistically significant positive relationship between the perceived quality of cleanliness, classrooms, classroom conditions, front office and ICT with study success. . . .