Optimize Learning Outcomes

Nature Lessons (01-11-18)

Kuo and her team have learned that outdoor teaching sessions have positive implications after students return to their indoor classrooms.  The researchers report that “Using carefully matched pairs of lessons (one in a relatively natural outdoor setting and one indoors), we observed subsequent classroom engagement during an indoor instructional period. .

Learning More About Learning (12-27-17)

Weir reviews recent education-related research.  What she learned is relevant to the design of academic and professional spaces where people are trying to learn.  Weir reports that “Koedinger wondered if [intelligent tutoring] systems might be limited by the constraints of learning on a flat screen.  To explore that idea, his graduate student Nesra Yannier used depth camera technology and artificial intelligence vision to develop an intelligent tutoring system that watched 4- to 8-year-olds as they played a game that involved predicting and explaining what makes block towers fall on a simul

Space Plants (10-16-17)

Research indicates that plants can enhance our wellbeing, even when we’re in space.  Space travel can be stressful, it “can cause sleep disorders, a reduction in energy, inattentiveness and difficulty in problem-solving, and even memory loss. It can cause people to be more hostile, act more impulsively and, despite the danger and excitement, is sometimes boring. Any of these conditions and problems can lead to dangerous, if not tragic outcomes.” Odeh and Guy completed  “a review of the existing literature on plant-people interactions. . . . .

Too Loud to Study (07-20-17)

Bratt-Eggen and her team researched sound levels in open-plan study spaces.  The investigators collected information in “five open-plan study environments at universities in the Netherlands. A questionnaire was used to investigate student tasks, perceived sound sources and their perceived disturbance, and sound measurements were performed to determine the room acoustic parameters. This study shows that 38% of the surveyed students are disturbed by background noise in an open-plan study environment.


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