The Impact of Physical Classroom Environment on Student Satisfaction and Student Evaluation of Teaching in the University Environment



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Recently, many colleges and universities have made significant investments in upgraded classrooms and learning centers, incorporating such factors as tiered seating, customized lighting packages, upgraded desk and seat quality, and individual computers. To date, few studies have examined the impact of classroom environment at post-secondary institutions. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of classroom environment factors on individual student satisfaction measures and on student evaluation of teaching in the university environment. Two-hundred thirty-seven undergraduate business students were surveyed regarding their perceptions of classroom environment factors and their satisfaction with their classroom, instructor, and course. The results of the study indicate that students do perceive significant differences between standard and upgraded classrooms. Additionally, students express a preference for several aspects of upgraded classrooms, including tiered seating, lighting, and classroom noise control. Finally, students rate course enjoyment, classroom learning, and instructor organization higher in upgraded classrooms than in standard classrooms. The results of this study should benefit administrators who make capital and infrastructure decisions regarding college and university classroom improvements, faculty members who develop and rely upon student evaluations of teaching, and researchers who examine the factors impacting student satisfaction and learning.

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