According to the Grattan Institute, in Australia as many as 40 per cent of students are unproductive at school. While the reasons for this are complex, including factors outside of the classroom such as problems at home, stress or pressure, there are several strategies which can be adopted to enhance student engagement. One of the most important aspects educators can focus on is the physical learning environment of a classroom.
Establishing a classroom space which facilitates innovative learning and collaboration is extremely beneficial for:
- Flexibility and long-term use
- Minimising distractions for students
- Streamlining student learning experiences
- Easing teaching pressure
To learn more, read our blog on The Power of Collaborative Learning Spaces.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your classroom environment to elevate your students’ engagement levels, take a look at our 5 top tips for inspiration:
1. Consider the Layout & Structure of the Room
If your current classroom layout is a more traditional, front-to-back layout, consider shaking things up by creating ‘learning zones.’ Taking away hierarchical structures and replacing them with areas where students can concentrate on particular topics, for example reflection and brainstorming zones, can help optimise engagement and encourage collaborative learning. This way, you can also follow up on students as they work their way through the different learning zones.
Instead of using a whiteboard at the front of the class, Agile Mobile Tablet Whiteboards are ideal for brainstorming and encouraging students to work at their own pace. They also allow you to divide your groups for increased participation.
2. Opt for Comfortable Seating
It might seem obvious but ensuring the furniture in your classroom is comfortable can make a real difference to a student’s concentration levels. Creating a ‘living room effect’ helps students relax, making them feel ready to listen and learn. Introducing a couch into your classroom might seem a little unconventional but they are the perfect accessory for a quiet, comfortable reading area. They can also be relocated in your classroom to accommodate other needs and projects.
3. Keep all Areas Clean & Organised
Ever heard of the saying a messy room equals a messy mind? When it comes to eliminating distractions, keep all areas of your educational environment clean and organised to reinforce focus. To prevent your space from continuously getting disorganised, it’s best to ensure everything utilised in the classroom by your students has its own place. From stationary to art supplies, storing them away in allocated cabinets or mobile trolleys helps keep your students on track. You can even allocate students to be on ‘clean up duty,’ to teach them the importance of responsibility.
4. Adopt ‘Active’ Seating for Collaborative Learning
There are several advantages of active seating but the number one benefit is assisting students with focus. Students often find a way to move about in their chairs, one of the reasons for this is because younger people crave movement. Active seating encourages people to stay in motion, rather than slouching or holding a particular pose which keeps both their bodies and minds engaged. It also enables mixing up student social dynamics in your class through rearranging groups or pairs for collaborative learning and social engagement.
5. Encourage more Colour
While you may think incorporating more colour in your classroom could be distracting, when used wisely it can enhance mood and unlock creativity in your students’ thinking processes. You can use colour to create ‘themes’ for certain projects, colour coding storage areas or creating ‘mood corners.’ For relaxing settings, opt for green, blue or purple. If you need students to be more alert, use orange. An easy way to integrate more colour in your classroom is using colourful seating or desks.
If you’re looking for a way to make your classroom, university or training facility a better place to learn, talk to the All Storage Systems team. Our friendly staff members can guide you through creating an engaging educational environment for your students. We can assist with your classroom interior or furniture fitout at your location.