Transforming the Learning Landscape
School is back in session, which has us here at MarxModa pondering educational spaces. Just like the modern workplace, the nature of school has changed, so classrooms and learning spaces need to transform as well.
According to research, classroom design influences levels of interaction and engagement - and engagement and active learning improve student retention. A study from the National Training Laboratories in 2000 found that only about 5 percent of the information delivered through lecture was retained. Compare that with retention rates at 50 percent for discussion group and 70 percent for practice by doing. Even higher, at 80 percent, was retention by students teaching others.
Rethinking the classroom design can also facilitate greater interaction between students and faculty. When teachers can move around the room freely and easily connect with the student who is struggling or questioning something, then the level of interaction improves significantly. And students who have greater interaction with their teachers are more likely to express satisfaction overall with their learning experiences. The more student-faculty interaction occurs, the better the outcomes.
In addition, designs that are physically and psychologically comfortable promote student’s sense of well-being, keep their minds focused, and limits distractions. By adjusting the learning spaces temperature, lighting, and furnishings to provide physical comfort and creating an environment that is comforting and inviting, educational institutions can create spaces where students and staff can thrive.
At MarxModa we believe the goal of classroom design is to enrich academic, psychological, and sociological growth. The design of such spaces should be intentionally serendipitous and avoid prescriptive and restrictive behaviors, for both teachers and students. By transforming educational spaces schools can become places that increase levels of engagement, foster active learning and teaching, and support overall learning goals.