Prepared by: Brandon Ro, Reasearch Leader
Understanding the impact of school design on academic performance is critical for educators and designers. How one goes about evaluating the quality of a learning environment is a fundamental aspect for studies seeking to understand the value of architectural design and its functional performance on educational outcomes. Surveys are one means to address this challenge. The following study investigates the impacts of elementary school design on educational outcomes through a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) survey.
In order to assess how the learning environment was performing from the building users’ perspective at Butler Elementary School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, a POE survey was conducted from May to June 2017. The short one-month survey gathered a total of 160 responses that were comprised of students, teachers, administrators and parents. The survey was designed to capture several different aspects of environmental quality. The present study focuses on four main areas of the survey and includes:
Major findings from the survey suggest that a flexible classroom environment has a positive and direct impact on the perceptions of students, teachers and parents.
In the end, this study illustrates some of the impacts the classroom environment has on human perceptions to learn or teach. The results of the survey are relevant for designers, architects, educators, administrators and policy makers who are concerned with improving academic performance through better educational design. Better school design leads to better learning environments.
To read the full report, click here.
written by: Alex Booth, AIA
We want a high school designed for the future. We want a high school that questions which skills individuals will need for the future economy, and we want the high school to provide an ideal environment for equipping students with those skills. We want our high school to be focused on learning, not just in the classrooms, but throughout the entire building. We want our high school to foster creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. We also want this high school to be sustainable- a zero energy campus if possible. We want to involve students, teachers, administrators and the community in the design process. Emphatically, we do not want to rebuild the same high school that we did ten years ago. We do however, want this new high school to cost the same as the high school we designed ten years ago.
Evaluating the quality of a learning environment is a key component for understanding the value of architectural design and its functional performance on educational outcomes. Surveys are one means to address this challenge. The following study investigates how the quality of an elementary school learning environment can be evaluated through a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) survey.