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.
In order to assess how the learning environment was performing from the building users’ perspective at Odyssey Elementary School, a POE survey was conducted during the Spring of 2015. The short one-month survey gathered a total of 275 responses that were comprised of students, teachers, administrators, maintenance personnel, 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:
“Does the layout of the school and classrooms make it easy to work in groups?”
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.
“Overall, how satisfied are you with the design of the building in helping you to provide quality learning experiences for your students?”
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.