A classroom that optimizes learning doesn’t happen by accident. Research has identified four principles of design that promote the process and have led to a measurable increase in student performance. When designing or retrofitting classrooms to enhance the learning experience, consider these factors:
Collaboration enables students to learn problem-solving skills. Promoting collaboration means a more informal physical learning environment. Classroom furniture has to be more mobile and multipurpose, and sturdy enough to withstand both movement and a variety of uses. Presentation surfaces such as white boards and writable walls must be available on all sides, not merely the front of the classroom. Installation of sound-absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles and floor coverings will improve acoustics and allow multiple conversations that support collaboration.
Promote faculty interaction.
Exposing students to faculty experts and methods of problem identification and solution replaces the theoretical with real-world techniques. A learning space should facilitate student-faculty interaction for exchanging ideas. Instructors should have complete mobility around the classroom for one-on-one exchanges or to participate in group collaboration.
Enhance the learning experience.
Technology provides numerous ways to upgrade the classroom environment and bolster teaching methods. Multiple presentation screens and audio-visual media such as overhead projectors and document cameras can be blended into standard lecture format. Computer stations may incorporate the Nova Trolley E monitor systems or Downview technology to enable multipurpose use of work surfaces and fast conversion from computer-guided learning to note-taking and reading.
Open up the campus.
The overall campus environment should be open to use by all rather than strictly segregated by curriculum. A computer lab in one discipline of study may have use for students pursuing other interests. A livable, sustainable campus provides the setting for both individual exploration and collaboration that fosters learning.
Nova Solutions has a 25-year track record of providing educational and technology furniture for higher education. Contact us about more options for the 21st century classroom that optimizes learning.