Architects and Designers can have a greater impact on student engagement than teachers


South Tower - Terrace

  • Primary Core Competencies: Design of Educational Facilities
  • AIA CEU: 1. 0 LU
  • Secondary Core Competencies: Educational Visioning


Why is the discussion regarding student engagement so prevalent? What are the root causes of this growing concern? Are typical classroom environments contributing to this issue? We investigated these questions and found that there are key contributors outside of the school’s control that make it challenging for students to focus and stay engaged during class. We will share how we used secondary research combined with video ethnography to understand the physiological reasons why this is happening and to show how typical classroom design choices often add to the problem. We will present solutions that improve student engagement and create a more effective learning environment without changing teaching methods.

Learning Objectives

OBJ #1  Understand key reasons why student engagement is such a challenging problem

OBJ #2  Discover unintended consequences of a typical classroom design

OBJ #3  Learn how video ethnography and other research methods are valuable tools of design

OBJ #4  Learn ways to improve student engagement without changing teaching methods

Alan Rheault, Chief Furniture Designer, Fleetwood Furniture