A Checklist for Classroom Acoustics
Finding the reasons why children are having issues with learning at a basic level can be a tough experience for parents and guardians. It is imperative for parents and guardians to pay adequate attention to the environment which accommodates the classroom where their children are being taught. Research has shown that a significant percentage of the number of the children might have their learning experience hampered by extreme noise and reverberation. As a parent, you need to take necessary steps to know if the classroom in which your child is being taught needs acoustical remediation. If the issue of reverberation and extreme noise are not adequately put in check, it could cause educational failure and delay in children.
Problem of Reverberation
Reverberation remains one of the problems that could make the learning process a terrible experience for kids. Once a room is reverberant, it lacks the capacity to absorb sound, and this will not allow the children to hear and grasp the content of the tutorials given by their teacher. When there is a case of extreme reverberation, it will be hard for the students to understand what they are taught. The good news about reverberation is that it can be dealt with. There are several hints that you should look out for when you want to know if reverberation is the main issue. These tips may include;
- Painted tiles in the classroom
- The ceilings of the classroom are above ten feet
- The classroom is comprised of a solid ceiling that is bereft of acoustical ceiling tiles
Check for Background Noise
Causes of background noise are as follows; adjacent land uses, conducts in adjoining rooms and HVAC equipment. Getting to the root causes of background noise will need the expertise of a professional acoustical consultant. You can perform the following series of tests in a vacant classroom:
1. Switching Off HVAC
The first step to having an understanding of the classroom environment is by requesting the teacher or instructor to turn off heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment for crucial lessons. It should be noted that equipment that makes more noise than a gaudy whisper might change the way a consonant sounds to children.
2. Check for Outdoor Noise in the form of Automobile Traffic
3. Check for Sounds in Adjoining Spaces
This method works better when you have all the HVAC gear turned off. Once you are hearing the sounds from adjacent spaces or rooms or movements of activities in other rooms situated within the same environment, there is a likelihood that the classroom is not entirely insulated against diffusion of noise. It has been proven that when there is abnormal noise level at the background, the teachers or instructors will be forced to increase the tempo of their speeches. Moreover, here is another technique which entails the utilisation of all the HVAC and lighting apparatus in full operation. Check for the place that has the highest volume of noise in the classroom, shut your eyes as this will not allow you to read the lips of the teacher and pay attention to how the teacher mumbles few words that share the same sounds from a close distance. If you realise that you have issues getting the phrase correctly, it is most likely that the classroom requires acoustic resurgence.
You can exploit a device called a sound-level meter to check background noise. Ensure the sound meter is of durable quality that can provide analyses lower than thirty-five decibels. Make sure you carry out tests in classrooms to discover the sources of noises. Once a classroom is with a vacant background sound intensity that is above 35 decibels, such a classroom doesn’t have the capacity to offer the speech lucidness young kids require for language reading and acquisition.
Have a chat with an acoustical specialist and have them thoroughly check on classrooms and other spaces to know the actual causes of awkward sounds. They will be able to suggest the appropriate measures that will help you get rid of any menacing sounds.