Sanders probed the relationship between the arrangement of chairs in classrooms and student engagement. She learned that “students in lecture-based classes showed higher cognitive engagement in classrooms organized in traditional rows, whereas students in group-focused classes showed higher cognitive engagement in classroom space organized around grouped tables. Results did not support the current belief that innovative seating improves student engagement across all contexts.”
Can classroom window views improve grades, or do they just make students feel better?
Kang and Williamson investigated how hearing music influences learning a second language. They report that “the presence of music can both help and hinder performance on a concurrent cognitive task. Music that is low in complexity has been associated with improved performance on language learning tasks, although previous studies have typically used artificial stimuli or tested only short-term recognition. The present study examined the effect of background music as part of an ecologically valid two-week second language learning trial . . . .
The Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) awarded its Chapman Prize to Susan Painter, Janice Fournier, Caryn Grape, Phyllis Grummon, Jill Morelli, Susan Whitmer, and Joseph Cevetello, and they used the prize money to research how libraries (and library design) can best serve current and potential users. SCUP quotes from their soon to be released monograph, “Research on Learning Space Design: Present State, Future Direc
Researchers at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center have found that exposing people to reddish light during the “post-lunch dip” can be advantageous. The “dip” is generally from 2 to 4 in the afternoon or 16-18 hours after bedtime the previous night. Mariana Figueiro and Levent Sahin conducted a study whose “results suggest that red light positively affects measures of alertness not only at night, but also during the day . . .
Metin and his colleagues investigated links between background sound and impulsive behavior by people with ADHD.
Applying design research makes it more likely that environments support educational programs.
Miller-Cochran and Gierdowski have learned that flexible classroom design cost-effectively supports composition (writing) classes.
Criteria for designing successful common dorm spaces.
A review of the research and two important resources for those designing spaces that are pleasing acoustically.