Classrooms' indoor environmental conditions affecting the academic achievement of students and teachers in higher education

Authors Henk W. Brink, Marcel Loomans, M.P. (Mark) Mobach, Helianthe Kort
Published in Indoor Air
Publication date 24 September 2020
Research groups Technology for Healthcare Innovations
Type Article


This study reports the outcomes of a systematic literature review, which aims to determine the influence of four indoor environmental parameters — indoor air, thermal, acoustic, and lighting conditions —on the quality of teaching and learning and on students' academic achievement in schools for higher education, defined as education at a college or university. By applying the Cochrane Collaboration Method, relevant scientific evidence was identified by systematically searching in multiple databases. After the screening process, 21 publications of high relevance and quality were included. The collected evidence showed that the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) can contribute positively to the quality of learning and short‐term academic performance of students. However, the influence of all parameters on the quality of teaching and the long‐term academic performance could not be determined yet. Students perform at their best in different IEQ conditions, and these conditions are task‐dependent, suggesting that classrooms which provide multiple IEQ classroom conditions facilitate different learning tasks optimally. In addition, the presented evidence illuminates how to examine the influence of the IEQ on users. Finally, this information supports decision‐makers in facility management and building systems engineering to improve the IEQ, and by doing so, allow teachers and students to perform optimally.

On this publication contributed

  • Helianthe Kort | Professor | Research group Technology for Healthcare Innovations
    Helianthe Kort
    • Professor
    • Research group: Technology for Healthcare Innovations

Language English
Published in Indoor Air
Year and volume 31 2
Key words academic performance, Facility Management, indoor environmental quality, quality of teaching and learning, school design
Page range 405-425

Technology for Healthcare Innovations