Optimize Learning Outcomes

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. . . .

Academic Advantages of Complying with Codes (11-14-14)

Lumpkin and his team determined that when students study in code compliant schools they perform better on standardized tests.  The researchers began their project because “Much of the focus in the literature in raising student achievement has included parental involvement, principal leadership, quality of instruction, students’ socioeconomic status, curriculum, and use of technology.

Standing Up in Class (09-30-14)

Benden and his colleagues investigated how providing students with stand-biased desks (taller desks equipped with footrests for one foot while students stand and tall-ish stools) instead of conventional school desks influenced experiences at school. Students with the stand-biased desk were free to sit or stand, as they wished. The researchers learned that “activity-permissive classrooms do not cause harm to [elementary-school age] students; result in increased energy expenditure that may combat obesity among those in the highest risk categories; and improve behavioral engagement. . . .

Designing Physical Activity Into Schoolyards (09-09-14)

Research conducted in Finland supports the design of school playgrounds that encourage active living.  A Finnish team learned that “higher levels of physical activity are related to better academic achievement during the first three school years particularly in boys. . . . Higher levels of physical activity at recess were related to better reading skills and participation in organized sports was linked to higher arithmetic test scores.”   

Research on Learning Spaces Design (08-26-14)

The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) has released the final report of Boys, Melhuish, and Wilson, the team awarded SCUP’s 2013-2014 M. Perry Chapman Prize.  Their work builds on previous studies that have determined that “there is never one correct solution for the design of a learning space that can be drawn from analyzing the data. Engagement with particular spaces depends on what students and faculty bring to them, how particular educational processes are played out, and what the space enables or hinders across diverse perceptions and experiences.”