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DESIGN FOR COMMUNICATION: Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Classroom Spaces

By : Joy Potthoff

The purpose of this study was to examine faculty and student satisfaction with classrooms in a university teaching facility in the Midwest, U.S.A. The two-story, 95,000 square foot (79,429.5 square meter) building cost 13.5 million dollars to build and was dedicated for use by the entire campus with no college or department given permanent classroom space. The facility's classrooms were designed to incorporate state-of-the-art communications technology including television monitors, DVD and video cassette recorders, overhead projectors and slide projectors, video presenters, and hook-ups for computers and CD, tape and other audio equipment. A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) survey of 125 faculty and 5,048 students using the facility indicated that the majority of faculty and students were satisfied with the classrooms (overall satisfaction: faculty, 65.3%F; students 73.0%). However, problems were cited including: difficulty in using equipment, uncomfortable room temperatures and seating, and a sterile environment (all but three classrooms are windowless). Keywords : Classroom, Design, Technology, Learning, Communication.

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