From pre-school settings to university campuses, classroom design plays an important role in students’ learning.
Plenty of research, surveys and studies have shown how working adults can benefit from an office designed for maximum flexibility and functionality to improve their productivity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that similar positive effects can be reached with students of all ages through optimally designed classrooms and education environments.
One report, published in the Building and Environment journal,found that improving the core elements in a classroom design can increase students’ learning outcomes by 16 percent.
All ages: Bright ideas
Wherever possible, natural daylight through large windows is the ideal light source for learning, teaching, studying, working and more.
Across all ages of students and educators alike, natural light helps improve focus and overall moods while reducing the risk of headaches caused by outdated, industrial-style lighting. Children with sensitive hearing or levels of autism can find the buzzing from fluorescent lights particularly distracting. Making the switch to LEDs or full-spectrum bulbs that mimic sunlight will give students a more natural and eye-pleasing environment to enhance their learning potential at every level.
While a bright, clear and illuminating outlook is best for lighting, teachers may want to avoid bright and bold colors on the walls as they can cause distractions from learning. Best choices for paint include warm tones of neutral colors — think shades of grey, cream or beige — with soft accent colors. In addition to carpet or area rugs for a flooring change of pace, incorporating textured and tactile features into your walls can help create a calm, welcoming learning environment.
Early childhood: Divide and conquer
Designating different zones of your early grade school classroom for different projects or subjects can help children focus on the task at hand within each space. Moveable walls or temporary dividers can establish one classroom corneras alibrary nook for quiet reading time. Computer terminalscould be sanctioned off as a research station that opens to a larger area for e-learning presentations.One cluster of desks can be dedicated to small-group project work, science experiments or other special activities.
By using products with wheelable or collapsible features, you can customize your various learning stations and rearrangethe classroom to accommodate different lessons or keep the space feeling fresh and different throughout the school year.
Tweens and teens: Seating flexibility
Letting students make active choices in their education gives them a feeling of ownership in their learning. Presenting them with options for their classroom seating may seem trivial, butyou’ll actually help instill some independence and responsibility in your students.
The most productive professional offices integrate a flexible approach to their spaces, equipping employees to work in the setting or style best suited for them. On a smaller scale, your classroom can do the same thing by including traditional desks and chairs in various configurations combined with group tables, standing desk workstations, sofas, bean bag chairs or floor mats.Encourage students to try out different seating to discover where they might learn best.
Research has shown that by rearranging seating from neat and traditional rows into flexibleconfigurations, improvements are seen in students’ overall focus, collaboration, participation and an ability to engage in their preferred learning methods. As much as 25% percent of a student’s learning progress, including their overall well-being and motivation, is influenced by their classroom design.
Higher education: Creative, comprehensive campuses
College and university campuses are more than just classroom learning environments and lecture halls — they’re 24/7 livable locations that combine spaces for work, study, relaxation, social functions and more.
From cafes and student centers to libraries and study halls, visitors need welcoming atmospheres that promote interaction and are adaptable to serve multiple uses and changing needs.
Collegiatecampuses are home to a broad range of students and faculty, who require spaces that serve unique functionsacross their varied disciplinesand fields of study. Individual classrooms, entire buildings and whole departments can differ drastically from one to another and should support a host of teaching and learning styles.
Formal lecture and presentation halls, high-tech multimedia labs, small-group or one-to-one meeting rooms and other informal, relaxed settings — universities need it all to properly prepare and inspire the next generation of great young minds.
Desks and chairs are important, but just one part of the larger solutions for creating a campus atmosphere that works on behalf of its students and faculty.
Whatever age your classroom is intended for, a well thought out and optimized design can help your students get the most out of their learning experience. At Commercial Office Environments, we’ve helped educators at all levels across Indianapolis outfit their classrooms with innovative solutions to make spaces their own and encourage student engagement, collaboration and more focused learning.
We have the furniture, accessories and technology to transform classrooms into ideal learning communities. Reach out to our team of experts to discuss your school’s needs and let us show you how we can enhance your education environment.