Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

On the Key Factors in Higher Education Classroom Design: Physical Aspects of the Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Experience in Malaysia

Version 1 : Received: 5 August 2019 / Approved: 7 August 2019 / Online: 7 August 2019 (05:56:20 CEST)

How to cite: De Pretto, L.; Hii, C.L.; Chiang, C.L.; Ong, S.P.; Tan, D.E.S.Y.; Pang, C.H. On the Key Factors in Higher Education Classroom Design: Physical Aspects of the Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Experience in Malaysia. Preprints 2019, 2019080089 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0089.v1). De Pretto, L.; Hii, C.L.; Chiang, C.L.; Ong, S.P.; Tan, D.E.S.Y.; Pang, C.H. On the Key Factors in Higher Education Classroom Design: Physical Aspects of the Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Experience in Malaysia. Preprints 2019, 2019080089 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0089.v1).

Abstract

The design, facilities and conditions inside a classroom play a significant role in the teaching and learning experience for both students and lecturers. Prior studies of primary schoolchildren indicate three design principles affecting student learning, namely: naturalness, individualisation and stimulation. The current study extends these investigations to Higher Education through a survey of undergraduate students and university lecturers aimed at determining the most critical factors in undergraduate classroom design. One-to-one interviews were conducted with students and lecturers (n. 31) at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. Interviewees were encouraged to express their opinions, comments, concerns and suggestions through open-ended questions. The interviews were recorded and then transcribed and coded using NVivo10. Results show a strong desire among lecturers and students for improved classroom equipment, greater flexibility in classroom arrangement, more attractive decoration and for the addition of natural elements to the classroom environment. Of the three design principles, individualisation and naturalness emerged most strongly from the interviews and appear to be more important factors for undergraduates than stimulation. These findings could make a novel and significant contribution to the physical aspects of classroom design in Higher Education settings. Educational institutions are increasingly employing non-traditional classroom designs, which are expected to provide for more flexible, collaborative, and active learning and teaching experiences. Taking into consideration the environmental psychology of teaching and learning, several of the reported design attributes can serve as benchmarks for upgrading current classroom design and facilities in the future, as institutions look to upgrade their physical infrastructures to meet the changing demands of teachers and learners arising from technological innovations and shifts in our understanding of the methods and purposes of Higher Education.

Subject Areas

classroom design; higher education; Malaysia; undergraduate

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