Background and aim – In this study, it is pre-supposed that the indoor environmental conditions of classrooms can contribute to the quality of the educational process. Thermal, acoustic and visual conditions and indoor air quality (IAQ) may be extremely supportive in order to support the in-class tasks of teachers and students. This study explores the influence of these conditions on the perceived comfort and quality of learning of students in higher education.
Methodology – In a case study design, the actual IEQ of 34 classrooms which are spread over four school buildings in North Netherlands and 276 related student perceptions were collected. The measurements consisted of in situ physical measurements. At the same moment the perceived indoor environmental quality (PIEQ) and the perceived quality of learning (PQL) of students were measured with a questionnaire.
Results – Observed are high carbon dioxide concentrations and high background noise levels. A relation was observed between perceived acoustic and visual conditions, IAQ, and the PQL indicating that a poor IEQ affects the PQL. A linear regression analyses showed that in this study the perceived impact on the quality of learning was mainly caused by perceived acoustic comfort.
Originality – With the applied innovative measuring instrument it is possible to measure both the actual IEQ as well as the PIEQ and PQL. This method can also be used to assess a reference and intervention condition. Practical or social implications – The applied measuring instrument provides school management with information about the effectiveness of improved IEQ and students’ satisfaction, which can be the basis for further improvement.