Thursday, 29 November 2012

Too Narrow, too Low and too Distant

I was observing a lecture in a room today where 6 students were crammed into a row 3mtrs wide so 500mm wide, this was obviously too narrow a space for each student especially as they are getting bigger.

I also noticed that the students from halfway back were bobbing around in an attempt to see the projection screen, i even saw three students sat on the top of the backrest of their seats at the back of the room. This is because the room is a flat floor and the furniture is all the same height. I think I can improve this with different height furniture. A raked floor is not possible.

The last observation was that the back 3 rows were too distant from the projection screen, or put another way, the projection screen is too small for the distance of the furthest seats.

I will be sorting this room soon and will blog with the solution.


  1. Thanks, Nigel. This article is a great reminder that direct observation of student behaviour is one of the best ways to get feedback.

    So many of our problems result from overfilling of rooms. 500mm is awfully tight, especially if we expect students to move to track a moving lecturer or discuss concepts with neighbours. Even in a 'straightforward' lecture space, we need to allow more room per student and focus on improving utilisation to compensate for the loss of density.

    Height variation combined with increased (600-750mm) spacing sounds like a great way to improve this room, providing timetabling and space planning colleagues can work with the reduced capacity of course.

    Once more unto the breach... Keep up the good work, Nigel - I look forward to reading about your solution.

  2. Thanks for your commnet Sam. I will post the solution.


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