There are many interior elements that effect our learning environments. If certain elements are implemented properly they can enhance the well-being and improve the academic achievement of the occupants. However, if certain elements are not implemented properly then there can be serious adverse reactions.
Some of the things that greatly effect the interior environment and its impact on learning are: connection to outdoor views, exposure to natural daylight, multiple locations for informal meetings, and the proper implementation of technology.
In the image above, we see a learning environment that has multiple positive elements. It has a large connection to the outdoor space. This connection allows views to the natural surroundings as well as sunlight to come into the interior. This space also has multiple areas for informal meeting. These areas allow the students to learn in multiple types of settings. This way the students can cater their learning style preferences based on the flexibility of the interior environment.
Having a connection to nature is imperative for student achievement. Multiple studies have shown that students with regular access to natural lighting have consistently improved test scores. In addition, other studies have shown that exposure to nature has instantly calming effects on humans. Studies indicate that when students have views to nature they are less stressed. In addition, some studies have said that occupants in educational interior environments that have very little connection to nature or natural day lighting showed an increase in depression rates.
Finally, our world is filled with rapidly moving technological advances. Our exposure to technology has transformed the way and rate at which we learn. Technology has also made us a very connected world. This connection has dramatically influenced the way in which we learn. Educational environments are responding to this change as well. New classrooms are designed to provide us with multiple options of learning. The newer classrooms can have the standard set up of the teacher’s post at the front of the classroom and the students lined up to face the teacher. However, the classrooms are designed to also be easily re-configured to provide alternative styles of learning. The furniture needs to be easily adjustable to change from the straight rows to smaller collaborative settings. In addition, educational environments need to equip their spaces with smart technology. This includes multiple elements such as smart boards and wireless technology.
These are some of the major elements to consider when thinking about human response to the design of educational environments. When we consider all of these elements we have the potential to not only increase the level of happiness of the students, but to also allow them to achieve their highest level of academic achievement. It’s amazing what we can contribute with well executed designs!