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Classroom design Essay

This assignment is based on the criteria of adult education classrooms rather than primary and secondary teaching. College teaching is truly difficult and focused learning is hard work. Colleges are expected to encourage student’s enthusiasm and interaction, furthermore adapt to students individual learning styles and difficulties without leaving the course content and lesson plans. These tasks and requirements all meet in the classroom and this “learning and teaching” environment needs to be a teacher’s ally- not an opponent to defeat.

The challenge to colleges is to combine the knowledge and expertise of computer, telecommunications, staff, designers, architects, technology, comfort factors with presenters’ requirements and learners’ needs and difficulties in the classroom.

DEMANDS OF TODAY’S COLLEGE CLASSROOMS

Attractive comfortable classroom environment adds dignity to the learning process. Too often, college classrooms are regarded as cold, ugly, spiritless, colourless and windowless. There should be a creation of diversity among classrooms. Repetition of design of every classroom in a building is considered dull or boring for the learning and teaching environment. Acoustic, lighting, and seating should be coordinated with the requirements of technology and should be integrated into design in early stages. Classrooms should be flexible and adaptable to different learning methods of tutors, including multimedia presentations, student team projects and collaborative small group work. In today’s classrooms teachers’ tasks should be mentoring and helping students to discover learning and plan activities rather than delivering instructions.

Equipments in classroom

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Today’s college classrooms should contain projector, interactive whiteboards, DVD player and speakers mounted in the suspended ceiling. Interactive whiteboard has advanced the teaching and learning process in classrooms. It enhances efficiency and improves attention and information retention in the school environment.

There should be laptops at each students work station and a master teaching laptop. This learning facility provides the ability to display students work on a large screen and send selected images and information to every student computer. Classrooms should be changed from isolated places to places which enable the access to high speed broadband internet connection facilitating access to a variety of learning resources and materials, interactive whiteboards linked to the Internet, with all students being able to operate the boards from their seats. (Classroom of the Future, Department of Education and Skills)

In my classroom design there will be a SMART Board(tm) 600, 77″ (195.6 cm) interactive whiteboard which has the ability to create a whiteboard and flipchart that combines as one, recording everything that has been said and done. At the end of the class, everything can be saved, printed or even create a whole website simply and easily. Interactive whiteboards have made a huge impact and revolutionised the modern classroom environment, allowing lecturer to benefit from full power of the internet and content from their classroom PC or Laptop.

The all-in-one design brings an interactive whiteboard, audio system and projector together.

Interactive whiteboard

(Source: www2.smarttech.com)

Airliner

(Source: www.smarter-solutions.ltd.uk)

My classroom design will also benefit from an Airliner, wireless slate which enables teachers to teach from anywhere and allows learners to interact with information from their seats.

A two way video smart classroom consists of all requirements mentioned above, additionally TV cameras and microphones. Classes can be broadcasted and accessed on the internet even on a mobile phone. Students, who cannot attend the class, would be able to participate. Moreover experts or guest lecturers from other colleges, even from other countries can interact with the class. In this hectic lifestyle it is impossible to attend all classroom lectures. As an example, it is rather difficult for me to run my own business, running a family and a house with two step children, keeping a social life plus doing this course. It would be a great opportunity if we had this facility provided for my class which will enable me to access the lessons from my house when I am unable to go to college.

Classroom orientation and seating arrangements

The front of the classroom should be covered with boards and should not have protrusions. Although most classrooms are rectangular and deep, they should be wide, not deep, keeping the lecturer close to the students who are seated in the furthest seats and providing a large presentation and walking space for pacing teachers in front of the classroom. An eye contact between the lecturer and learners is essential to attract the learners’ attention. From my own experience of 5 years of university education and several adult education courses I have attended, I will be choosing a horse-shoe seating for my seating arrangement which helps me to interact with the teacher and concentrate on the subject being taught. Having flexible furniture, it can be easily rearranged to different type of seating arrangement if needed.

In my opinion and according to my knowledge our seating arrangement at our class at the moment is not ideal as I loose my focus when the tutor moves backward to the back of the class. I occasionally struggle to hear the lecturer and miss some of the content of his lecture when the lecturer is talking quietly and cannot use his voice projection.

Furniture

Fixed furniture should be avoided as it restricts the flexibility and the adaptability of classrooms. Desks and chairs should be light enough to change the seating arrangements to suit different activates especially while doing some group work. Seating for college environments should be able to accommodate the tallest and the smallest persons. Having experienced difficulties as a left handed person during my university education, due to lack of left handed tablet-arm chairs in the classrooms which are most commonly used in university and college education, I choose to use desks and chairs in my classroom design rather than tablet-arm chairs which will allow additional work space and use of computer. I recommend supplying the classroom with a Herman Miller Celle work chair. This chair is state of the art technology, with ergonomic design, infinite adjustments and full compliance with the latest E.U. regulations regarding office seating.

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X

Tablet-arm chairs.

(Source: www.school-classroom-furniture.com)

Herman Miller “Celle” chair

(Source: http://www.hmeurope.com)

Compact desks are recommended, which can be easily rearranged to suite different teaching environments but large enough for the student to undertake written and laptop work in a comfortable position.

Dams Office Furniture – cantilever work desk.

(Source: www.dvbofficefurniture.co.uk)

Colour scheme in classroom

Most people might consider whether colour matters in a learning environment. The current consensus is that what a learner feels, hears, and smells has a significant effect on his learning. The latest buzzword in education,” brain-based learning”, is learning via the senses. Functional colour – that which prioritises educational results before aesthetics and focuses on reducing eye strain and increasing attention spans. For the majority of learners, lighter tones can help with focus while high contrasts are stimulating. Contrast in the d�cor can be used to help orientation within a space. I will be using a distinctly different colour on one wall, Intense Truffle colour Dulux feature wall rich matt paint, whilst Hessian, Dulux vinyl matt on the three other walls.

Windows and window coverings

Students mostly request windows to be capable of being opened especially on warm days. Double glazed windows provide a great number of benefits. The trapped layer of air between the two panes acts as an insulator that prevents warmth from escaping. Modern double glazing windows insulate sound, making buildings quieter and more peaceful which is essential for learning environments. In addition to this, double glazing products improve draught proofing and reduce heat loss, so helps to cut down on heating bills without sacrificing comfort of a warm environment, low E-factor glass is now specified.

An intelligent external solar shading system that reacts with the sun movement can be installed to control solar gain, glare and light throughout the day which I will be benefiting in my classroom design.

University of Hertfordshire

An intelligent external solar shading system

(Source: www.solar-shading.co.uk)

Lighting

Natural day light should be the main means of lighting during daylight hours; this can be brought into interior spaces of school buildings in various ways such as skylights, windows and light shelves.

“In terms of task lighting, for most school tasks, a maintained illuminance of 300 lux will be appropriate. If this cannot be achieved, the daylight will need to be supplemented by electric light. In terms of avoiding discomfort glare, where a regular array of luminaries is used, the Glare index should be limited to no more than 19” (Source: Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools, DFEE)

Daylight and Solar Energy

(Source: www.designshare.com)

Subliminal lamp flicker should be avoided and light sources that reflect colours accurately are a necessity especially in design and art classes.

At the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association in London on 6th September 2007, researchers stated that up to 80% of classrooms have fluorescent lights which flicker imperceptibly. These lights should be replaced with lights which have higher frequency electronic ballasts which can be dimmed to adjust the illuminance level to suit the learners and save energy.

In my classroom design I have used 18 no. 1200 x 600 flush fitting fluorescent light boxes, each with four tubes, with Cat 2 diffusers, switched to a grid switch which allows multiple combinations of lights to be lit and all dimmable. I will be using Activa natural daylight SAD tubes which provide natural daylight environment and helps to combat SAD syndrome.

(Source: www.commercial-lamps.co.uk/acatalog)

The School Premises Regulations for lighting

  • Each room or other space in a school building –

a. Shall have lighting appropriate to its normal use

b. Shall satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (2) to (4).

  • Subject to paragraph (3), the maintained illuminance of teaching accommodation shall not be less than 300 lux on the working plane.
  • In teaching accommodation where visually demanding tasks are carried out provision shall be made for maintained illuminance of not less than 500 lux on the working plane.
  • The glare index shall be limited to no more than 19.

(Source: Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools, DFEE)

Ventilation

Natural ventilation should always be prioritised, however school users do not often open windows especially in built-up areas where opening a window may result in poor air quality and noise. Consequently automatically opened vents and windows can be installed to supply natural ventilation, provided controls can be manually overridden. Air conditioning systems should be ignored due to energy consumption and high cost and also the latest theories regarding production of air borne disease within systems. (Legionnaires disease)

The School Premises Regulations for ventilation

  • All occupied areas in a school building shall have controllable ventilation at a minimum rate of 3 litres of fresh air per second for each of the maximum number of persons the area will accommodate.
  • All teaching accommodation, medical examination or treatment rooms, sick rooms, isolation rooms, sleeping and living accommodation shall also be capable of being ventilated at a minimum rate of 8 litres of fresh air per second for each of the usual number of people in those areas when such areas are occupied.
  • All washrooms shall be capable of being ventilated at a rate of at least six air changes an hour.
  • Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent condensation in, and remove noxious fumes from, every kitchen and other rooms in which there may be steam or noxious fumes.

(Source: Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools, DFEE)

Acoustics

Good acoustics are necessity in learning environments and adequate sound insulation is an essential requirement for activities to take place in classrooms.

The School Premises Regulations for acoustics

Each room or other space in a school building shall have the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its normal use.

(Source: Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools, DFEE)

Absorbent and reflective materials should be used in the construction stage to maximise the transference of sound within the room, whilst obliterating the sounds from outside of the room.

I would advocate the use of wireless microphones by all lecturers, linked to the ceiling mounted speakers, to ensure that all students are able to hear the lecture as clearly as possible.

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This can also be networked to enable the lecture to be transmitted to the Web, to aid students who for any reason are unable to attend a particular lecture and are able to still participate at home.

(Source: www.designshare.com)

Heating

There should be a user-friendly, reliable and simple heating control facility provided in the classrooms. Tamper-proof thermostatic radiator valves are statutory requirement now and have been shown to give good local control of heat, to minimise overheating and under heating of areas with different thermal mass and incidental heat gains.

For instance our classroom is rather cold in winter due to lack of insulation and secondary glazing and a modern efficient heating system.

My classroom design has a BTU requirement of approximately 31,000 Btu’s, so six radiators emitting 5500 Btu’s each would be adequate. (6 no 1600x 600 single convector DeLonghi radiators producing 5774 Btu’s each)

The School Premises Regulations for heating

  1. Each room or other space in a school building shall have such a system of heating, if any, as is appropriate to its normal use.
  2. Any such heating system shall be capable of maintaining in the areas set out in column (1) of the Table below the air temperature set out opposite thereto in column (2) of that Table, at a height of 0.5 m above floor level when the external air temperature is -1C.
  3. Each room or other space which has a heating system shall, if the temperature during any period during which it is occupied would otherwise be below that appropriate to its normal use, be heated to a temperature which is so appropriate.
  4. In a special school, nursery school or teaching accommodation used by a nursery class in a school the surface temperature of any radiator, including exposed pipework, which is in a position where it may be touched by a pupil shall not exceed 43�C.

(1)

(2)

Areas

Temperature

Areas where there is a lower than normal level of physical activity because of sickness or physical disability including sick rooms and isolation rooms but not other sleeping accommodation

21C

Areas where there is the normal level of physical activity associated with teaching, private study or examinations

18C

Areas where there is a higher than normal level of physical activity (for example arising out of physical education) and washrooms, sleeping accommodation and circulation spaces.

15C

(Source: Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools, DFEE)

Ceiling

I will be using special sound management ceiling tiles which ensure great audibility and based on a specially developed fibreboard core (Armstrong i-ceiling sound systems to BB93 standard of Building Regulations).

The suspended ceiling will be 500 mm below slab to allow services and fire resistant cabling to be laid on service trays suspended from the slab. The ceiling incorporates the eighteen light fittings, previously mentioned, four flush audio speakers, statutory hard wired smoke detectors with battery back up, fire sprinkler system with activation sprinkler heads protruding through the ceiling tiles (all pipework contained within the ceiling void).

Below the ceiling a wall mounted observation camera is sited to record the lecture and again having the ability to be networked.

Raised Access Floors

Raised Aluminium Access Floor systems creates flexibility for learning environments with the benefit of delivering low profile concealed cable management systems including power, data and telecommunications. There is a wide choice of finishes including vinyl, rubber, wood or ceramics and I am specifying a wooden laminate 600×600 tile finish which I consider will produce a comfortable environment with practicality. I think that vinyl, rubber or ceramic finishes will produce a cold clinical effect in this environment. I have specifically avoided the more normal finish of carpet tiles due to the staining and soiling that occurs in high usage/traffic areas such as a classroom.

The suspended floor facilitates the insertion of flush floor boxes which will contain the power, data and telecommunication terminals.

Steel pedestal are used to achieve a variety of finished floor heights

Raised Access Floor

(Source: http://www.missioninteriors.co.uk/raised_access_flooring.htm)

Raised Access Floor

(Source: http://www.missioninteriors.co.uk/raised_access_flooring.htm)

Disability Requirements

“The Disability Equality Duty (DDA) requires schools to take a more proactive, more explicit, more involved and more comprehensive approach to promoting disability equality and eliminating discrimination. ” (Source: Guidance on Disability Equality in Schools)

Schools must not discriminate against disabled learners for a reason relating to their disability and promote the inclusion of disabled people in their admission arrangements and in every aspect of their learning life. All new classrooms must be wheelchair accessible and have in-built induction loops.

Large monitors should be standard considering visually impaired students.

There should be enough space to allow students, including those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs to move comfortably and safely around the space. There should be some desks provided for people with wheel chairs.

Promoting Disability Equality in Schools

  • Duties in Part 4 of the DDA require the governing body to plan to increase access to education for disabled students in 3 ways:
  • increasing the extent to which disabled students can participate in the school curriculum;

improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled students can take advantage of education and associated services;

  • Improving the delivery to disabled students of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.

(Source: Disability Equality Duty 2006, DCSF)

Additional requirement in a classroom design

I will be a adding a water dispenser, fire extinguisher, waste bin, recycle bin and a Nobo notice board for topical information (both educational and social). Also I am providing eight freestanding acoustic screens, 1800 high by 1800 long, which can be stacked against a wall and used for role play, planning meetings, discussion areas etc. when the open environment of the classroom is not applicable.

CONCLUSION

College classrooms have been propelled into the twenty-first century by constantly developing technology at warp speed. Classrooms need to be brought up to contemporary standards to sustain students’ attention on the subject being taught. Simple spaces with hard desks and uncomfortable chairs are no longer tolerated by learners, instead students are expecting a comfortable and interactive, stimulating classroom with the latest equipment.

A simple design with user friendly facilities is beneficial, with adequate teacher aids provided and an environment conducive to concentrated learning a necessity.

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Classroom design Essay
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This assignment is based on the criteria of adult education classrooms rather than primary and secondary teaching. College teaching is truly difficult and focused learning is hard work. Colleges are expected to encourage student's enthusiasm and interaction, furthermore adapt to students individual learning styles and difficulties without leaving the course content and lesson plans. These tasks and requirements all meet in the classroom and this "learning and teac

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Classroom design Essay
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2013-2015 | list all pages-> | Ousama Game The Animation