How Environment Affects Learning


Having the right environment to learn is as significant as having good study skills. The study place is a big factor in learning process. It influences how successfully a student will learn and retain the ideas and apply them in his/her assessments and more importantly apply the acquired skills in the job market. The learning environment, whether at an online university, campus classroom or library has shown to negatively or positively affect learning. These include both physical environment and community environment.

The physical environment comprises things such as building lighting, furniture, flooring, and architecture. These convey nonverbal messages which sometimes tend to be heavier than verbal by either discouraging or welcoming and disrespecting or Depending on this environment; the students will either be positively or negatively affected. For example, the physical environment of an office influences the students the moment they enter. The furniture, signage, comfort, lighting and layout of the space influence how students perceive the environment.  For instance, linked lighting to psychological arousal, and density with low student performance.

The conditions of school buildings, where students spend most of their time, have also been found to affect learning. Desirable learning building designs have “friendly and agreeable” entrances, supervised places for students, and public spaces that foster a communal sense, with specific attention to the color used. Schools with desirable buildings create spaces which attracts students just the way cafes attracts customers. For example, buildings equipped with swimming pools, fancy classrooms, and television studious promotes learning among the students. On the other hand, schools with shabby buildings lag student achievement.

Noisy environment affects learning. Most students listen to music while they read, write and research. Research has shown that reading with headphones on decreases memory and retention of information while background music is a study aid. Background music is much easier to “tune out” compared to other environmental noises like construction work outside the study room. Listening to background music that is not too loud helps to drown out other environmental that could be distracting. This can create associations which help the students to remember what they were reading better. However, listening to music you love draws your attention from books. Exposure to chronic noise impairs the cognitive functioning resulting into deficiencies in pre-reading skills, and other general cognitive deficits.

In conclusion, learning like any other process requires ideal conditions such as minimal noise, desirable buildings and experimental equipment, temperature, heating, lighting and quality air. Study friendly environment promotes learning while the opposite is true with unfriendly studying environment.

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