Recently completed research confirms that teachers understand that classroom design influences learning outcomes. A press release from Universitat Oberta de Cataluny reports that “6 out of every 10 teachers [hold the opinion] that changing the design of the classroom is key to improving learning. . . .
Optimize Learning Outcomes
Learning is a complicated operation for our brains—design can ease the process, however, whether you're studying at an elementary school or in a corporate learning suite. Applying what neuroscientists know about how design can support learning makes it a more productive and positive experience—even when recess is not an option.
Keeping young minds on-task
Emotion, performance effects
Research completed by Bekiroglu and teammates indicates the value of incorporating opportunities for flexibility and movement into higher-education classrooms. The team report that their research determined that “(a) flexible room layout and movable furniture enabled participants to create settings that could support students’ group interactions; (b) flexible room layout and movable tools enabled people to move around to enhance student–to–student and teacher–to–student interaction; and (c) through the movement of furniture and tools and movement of people, participants were able to easily
Hao, Barnes, and Jing investigated the effects of college level active learning on educational outcomes; classroom layouts and furnishings can provide more or less support for active learning. The researchers determined that “Active learning environments were found to have little influence, whereas active learning and teaching were found to have a significantly-positive influence on student achievements. . . . Active learning classrooms, characterised by open learning spaces, movable tables and seats, and learning technologies, are designed to better support effective learning. . . .
The Center for the Built Environment at the University of California, Berkeley has presented its 2020 Livable Building Award to the renovation and expansion of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. The award “recognizes buildings that demonstrate ‘livability’ in terms of occupant satisfaction, sustainability and architectural design. . . . .The award jury, consisting of CBE industry partners, commended the design of the school in terms of its openness to the community, its layered access to views and daylight, and also that the design addressed equity, carbon and resilience. . .
Sophisticated test of multiple conditions
The Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer, has released materials that can support the development of energy efficient circadian lighting n classrooms and hospitals. As a press release from the LRC reports the LRC team “published new guidance documents for designing circadian-effective lighting in K-12 classrooms and hospital patient rooms while avoiding increased energy use. . . .
Research completed by a Mullen-lead team not only confirms the value of air outside being fresh, but also the advantages of air brought into buildings being “scrubbed.” The investigators report that “Fine particulate air pollution is harmful to children in myriad ways. While evidence is mounting that chronic exposures are associated with reduced academic proficiency, no research has examined the frequency of peak exposures. . . .