4 Ways That Classroom Atmosphere Affects Student Learning

4 Ways That Classroom Atmosphere Affects Student Learning
  • Opening Intro -

    The way you learn in a classroom can have a lot to do with the overall atmosphere of the learning environment within the classroom itself.

    Various factors play a role in composing this atmosphere.


Believe it or not, your struggle to pay attention in class may be due to something as simple as the lighting or colors of the walls. The following are four ways the room itself will affect how students learn.


Believe it or not, the colors of the room can have a profound effect on your ability to focus during a lecture. Different colors facilitate different states of mind. For example, blue is a calming, focusing color that can help with left-brained activities, such as math and science. Green, on the other hand, is associated with creativity and can be beneficial for social sciences and language studies.

Blinding white walls, however, do little to focus your mind. Of course, there is little that the student themselves can do about the colors of the walls. However, you can bring this to the attention of your teachers if you notice a problem in focusing, and of course, color coordinate your binders to give that splash of color to your class experience.

Temperature Matters

As summer approaches and the weather becomes hotter, air conditioning maintenance becomes more and more essential to the focus and learning of students. When the body has to work harder to maintain the right internal temperature, focus drops and your students’ minds become muggy and tired.

Forcing students to endure warmer than average temperatures can have a profoundly negative impact on student learning by forcing their focus away from the course material and onto more immediate physical needs.

The increased heat can also be soporific, making students more likely to fall asleep in class. If the faculty is slow to get the AC fixed or is stingy about the use during these hotter months and students around you are nodding off, talk to the administration.

If all else fails, personal fans with water sprays are great for students stuck in summer classes. Putting a wet towel over an automatic fan can also have a cooling effect when the AC isn’t doing its job.


If you’ve ever had to study under this kind of lighting for extended periods, you’ll know that fluorescent lighting can have a serious negative effect on the mind. Fluorescent lighting seriously increases eye strain and can give students migraines unrelated to the course material itself. Harsh lighting creates a hostile learning environment that distracts from the course and can even create mental associations between the class and frequent headaches.

To remedy this, schools should use more ambient lighting options, invest in light covers, and avoid using the cheaper fluorescent options that plague the offices and classrooms of today. Failing this, wearing a brimmed hat or even sunglasses may be necessary for those suffering from lighting-induced migraines.

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Seating Arrangement

One of the problems with some classrooms is that institutions tend to pack too many students into too little space. Doing this not only distances the student from the lecture, making student engagement much more difficult by the sheer number of students involved, but it also can increase distractions. Students that are surrounded by other students, distant from the teacher, are more prone to want to engage with one another, or become distracted by other stimuli.

Overall, the more students there are, the less students are able to connect to the teacher. Wherever possible, it is essential to your learning that you aim for classes with smaller numbers when choosing your courses. If you find yourself stuck in a large classroom, try sitting in the second row back or near the front to help keep your focus on the teacher and less on the students around you.

When a student’s time in a classroom is free of distractions, they are able to turn their full attention to the course itself. Without a healthy learning atmosphere, however, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle. Speak with teachers and administration if you are having trouble focusing in class and consider adapting your environment the best you can so that you can get the most out of your education.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Categories: Study Tips