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Affective evaluation of the luminous environment in university classrooms

Castilla, Nuria, Llinares, Carmen, Bisegna, Fabio, Blanca-Giménez, Vicente
Journal of environmental psychology 2018 v.58 pp. 52-62
college students, educational methods, engineering, guidelines, learning, lighting, psychology, universities
Universities worldwide are adopting new teaching methods and using new educational technologies. This progress requires changes in their physical environment, especially in the case of lighting, which is regarded as fundamental because of its recognised effect on the learning process. Different light levels are needed for new classroom tasks.The aim of the present paper is to analyse the affective impressions of university students with regard to the luminous environment in their classroom, in relation to the different tasks they carry out there. This analysis is conducted in the frame of Kansei Engineering. A sample of 854 students assessed in situ the luminous environment of 29 classrooms. In the first stage, subjective evaluation scales adapted to the students were defined and then related to the classroom tasks.The results show that students’ affective responses in the assessment of the luminous environment in their classroom can be explained through the following dimensions: Clear-efficient, Uniform, Cheerful-colourful, Warm-cosy, Surprising-amazing and Intense-brilliant. The relation of these dimensions to the tasks shows that the luminous environments in the classrooms need to be changed in accordance with the nature of the tasks. The environment should be different for the tasks groups of Writing-reading, Reflecting-discussing (for collaborative work) and Paying attention. It seems, therefore, that new classroom lighting guidelines, tailored to the new methodologies and technologies, are needed.