The concept of effective learning has always been important when designing teaching environments, such as classrooms and lecture theatres. However, the idea of what constitutes an effective learning environment has changed over the years. For instance, if you look at the classrooms in Victorian times you will see that they were more harsh and staid than the vibrant classrooms of today. The same applies to lecture theatres and other educational environments.
Every aspect of this type of environment is important, including how the space is decorated and what seating is used. These aspects come together to create an optimum learning experience for students, to help inspire them and motivate them. Let's examine five aspects which are important in helping a lecture theatre be beneficial to learning in this way.
Comfortable seating that is well situated
It's important that students are seated in a way that optimises the learning experience. This is why lecture theatre seating should be comfortable and situated correctly. Of course, when we talk about comfort in this situation, we do not mean the comfort that you would expect from an easy chair. Lecture theatre chairs should be supportive but also created in a way that elicits awareness rather than relaxation.
When it comes to positioning the seating in a lecture theatre, the seats are normally laid out in rows facing the front, so that every student can get a good view of the lecturer. In some lecture theatres, seating is flexible to accommodate the requirements for different types of lecture.
Environmental factors such as temperature, light and ventilation
Natural light is important as an aid to concentration and motivation. Therefore, students perform better in an environment where there is plenty of natural light available.
Temperature is also important in a learning environment. The temperature in a lecture theatre should ideally be between approximately 20°C and 23°C and there should always be a good ventilation system in the room. Paying attention to these concerns means that students are provided with a learning environment where they can concentrate and feel comfortable.
Decoration to inspire
Decoration on the walls is often used to promote enhanced learning and inspire confidence. When children are at school, their works of art are often used to decorate the walls.
In a lecture theatre environment this type of inspiration can continue. For instance, the work of former students at a college, who have achieved success, can be displayed. This helps students to see what they can achieve by concentrating on their learning. Of course, it's important to pay attention to the type of work that is displayed so that it's not too distracting during lectures.
A place where students want to be
There are many distractions which enter a student's life while they are at college or university. This is why it's so important to do everything possible to help them focus on their learning.
Turning a lecture theatre into a place where students actually want to be is one way to do this. It's important to make the space comfortable and clean while also making sure that it's designed to promote concentration. It's essential that there is enough space to accommodate all of the students that will use the lecture theatre. It's also a good idea to accommodate features such as live plants. This is because plants have been shown to have a positive impact on mood and they also help to increase levels of oxygen in a room.
Resources that are close by
We live in an increasingly digital age. This is why it's so important to ensure that any lecture theatre is equipped with any resources required to promote learning using technology. These resources include Wi-Fi availability, electrical sockets and learning equipment such as interactive whiteboards.
If these resources are in place it helps to facilitate the learning of students who use the lecture theatre. They do not have to search for alternatives as they have everything they need close by.
Environment is always integral to the learning experience. This is because the more suitable a learning environment is, the better able students are to optimise their learning. Bearing this in mind, it's easy to see why the seating in a lecture theatre should be supportive and positioned well, natural light should be present where possible, good ventilation systems should be in place, the decor should be inspirational and all necessary resources should be available. Making sure that all this is the case helps to create an optimal learning environment for students.
About the author
Ella Hendrix is a versatile freelance writer, currently covering articles on workplace matters, career development and business trends. In 2007, she graduated in Education and trained as a primary school teacher - then a few years later, took her learned skills and positive attitude overseas to work with young children in Africa, Asia and South America. Now, she’s back on homeland, broadening her knowledge on business, marketing and career development and writing advisory articles for publications around the world. In her spare time, you’ll find her hiking hills with her Golden Retrievers or sipping tea in a local coffee shop.