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Higher Education Trends: Classroom Size, Acoustics and Furniture

Students often lead unhealthy lifestyles.  They might pull all-nighters, party hard on the weekends or eat a great deal of junk food.  Can this problem be solved by interior design that predisposes them to healthier choices?  Probably not.  At the same time, there’s a great deal to be said for studying in the right environment.  How often have you gone to the first class of a course you’re planning to take but decided against it just because the classroom was dark and dingy?  At other times, you might have liked the idea of taking a certain class simply because the classroom was small, intimate and arranged students in a circle rather than in rows.  Here are some higher education trends that students often prefer:

  • Appropriately sized classrooms.  Before students sign up for a class, you may not know how popular it’s going to be.  So it’s not a good idea to assign it a classroom quite yet.  If there are too many students in a classroom, it appears cramped, as though every available spot is taken up by a chair and a desk.  On the other hand, if the classroom is too big and students are scattered everywhere, it looks too empty and gives the impression that no one is interested in that topic, even though a decent number of people may have signed up.  So it’s important to have just the right amount of students in a classroom.
  • Acoustics.  It’s difficult for students to speak up in very big classrooms.  So these aren’t a good idea for anything except lectures in which there is no back-and-forth between teachers and students.  Of course, lectures have become less popular over the years and have been replaced by seminars where everyone can contribute to discussion.  So intimate classrooms are a better idea because they’ll allow everyone to speak up.
  • Furniture.  A classroom traditionally has chairs and small desks for students and a larger desk for the teacher.  Sometimes, in order to conserve space, you might have chairs with adjustable desks attached to them.  Although these are space-saving, they do result in a slightly cramped appearance, packing students in like sardines.  This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be used at all but just that you might want to leave some space in-between so that students get their personal space.  You’ll still be saving space but you won’t be bringing people uncomfortably close.

Contact us for more great classroom organization ideas.