Physically designing classrooms for optimal learning

One optimal condition for learning is the physical design of the classroom. If students are going to learn effectively they need

  • comfortable chairs
  • proper size desks
  • adequate lighting
  • suitable room temperature
  • efficient air flow

These items can all be achieved by designed the classroom properly. When the computer labs I teach in were redesigned it was a mess. The idea was to fit 35 computer workstations into the room and to achieve this the desks had to be a specific size. Because of the lack of attention to detail in planning, when students sat down in the lab for the first time they realized they didn’t have any space for their books or notes at their desk. The keyboard and mouse were in the way!

As a student I had an unpleasant experience when writing a final exam during my undergraduate studies. The room that we were writing the exam in had no windows, the door opened out to a narrow hallway, and there was no ventilation in the room. Did I mention it was August? The heat in the room was unbearable and many students did poorly on the exam because of environment they were in.


Akinsanmi, B. (2010). The optimal learning environment: Learning theories.DesignShare: Designing for the Future of Learning.


About simoncrothers

I am an Australian who moved to British Columbia, Canada with my family in 1998. After completing my undergraduate degree in mathematics and computing science at Simon Fraser University, I moved back to Australia for several years. During this time I completed a Masters in Computational Mathematics and began my teaching career in mathematics at the University of New South Wales. In 2010, I moved back to Canada and taught computer science at Douglas College for three years. I am currently regular faculty in the Computer Business Systems department at KPU. I have also taught some courses in the Business and Quantitative Methods department at KPU. In my spare time I like to spend time with my wife Jami, who I met in Australia, our three year old daughter Lillian, and our newly born son Aiden. I also like to indulge in the occasional video game and I am involved in various self-employed web development projects.
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