Learning Environments

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Senior Training & Development


Learning Environments
Hi again all you wonderful people. I have a new problem (quelle surprise!). I have recently been allocated a budget to redecorate my training room. Prior to actually redoing it I wondered if anyone had done any research into how different colours, styles and layout can be utilised to improve learning orientation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and as always my thanks in advance.


Reynard Thomson Ltd.

Environmental influence on working and learning
Hi Shellie,

That's an interesting question you've raised, and I don't really have experience to suggest, but there has been a lot of material written about the psychological effects of different layouts and colour schemes. A lot of this centres around concepts such as free space (i.e. individuals' personal and private requirements, coupled with the need to accommodate n different people - there will be a balance which should be sought), lighting (bright without being over-bright, and also natural light where possible).

Ergonomics in the workplace is a pretty major discipline, both an art and a science, and everything from furniture design and placement, space, lines of sight, background noise levels, temperature and humidity all come into play. Moreover, you will also have to consider whichever legislation applies in your area regarding health and safety. Lastly, there's always the budgetary considerations, which may be significant and be the difference between "doing it right and not doing it right".

Key concerns would be:
Health and safety
Space issues and the workstation
Temperature and Humidity
Furniture and Ergonomics

...and of course, making it seem like a fun and interesting place to work and learn rather than a Dickensian workhouse with schoolday overtones...

Senior Project Manager


Training Room environment
I too work in training, but my fiance is a teacher. She gave me some info she received through the local education authority that highlighted the importance of displaying children's work in the classroom, in order to imporve self-esteem and to refer back to learning points covered earlier in the school term.

It strikes me that the same logic applies to any form of education and that ensuring there is sufficent display space is very important. You don't want trainers sticking bits to walls with tape and ripping off your new paint (I'm always being told off about this!)

Hope this helps!



Ergonomics in the Workplace / Training Environment
Create an ergonomic training office:

Ergonomics is the study of people and their working conditions. The basic premise is that working conditions should be designed around the workers themselves.

Much of the office worker's time is spent every day in a seated position. A bad working posture can lead to back problems, and this is often the fault of inadequate office furniture.

Matching the workplace to the comfort needs of your workers is the basic tenet of ergonomic practice. If you are prepared to create an ergonomic office, you can reduce the potential of those workers developing physical problems which affect productivity and attendance, not to mention would-be compensation claims. Well-designed office furniture is a positive step for the health and morale of your employees.

Whether you work on your own or have a number of staff, the following guidelines should be considered:

One of the most important features of the ergonomic office is the chair you sit in. Hours will be spent using it, so the more you can spend on good office chairs, the better. Its design will affect the way you work and for how long.
When choosing office chairs, don't blindly pick out of a catalogue and hope for the best. Take the time to go a store and sit in different chairs, testing them for comfort and, importantly, adjustability.

If you are unable to afford the more expensive chairs, consider some accessories. Wedges force the chair user to learn forward when sitting so that the knees are lower than the hips. This encourages a better posture. Lumbar rolls can also be placed in chairs to provide lumbar support where the chair's original design won't.

The monitor should be at least 25cm from the eyes. Try tilting the top of the monitor back so that it's slightly farther from the eyes than the bottom of the monitor. Hands will benefit from wrist rests for the keyboard and mouse. For those who spend a lot of time on the phone, a cradle can be used to take strain from the neck. As for the legs, pressure can be effectively moved from the feet and calves by using a footrest.

Make sure this is indirect, and flexible to suit the needs of individuals. Use blinds and shades in the office to fully control outside light. Also use monitors that can be angled to suit the user, and anti-glare filters; these are relatively cheap.

The basic idea is that the ergonomic office should be fully adjustable, mobile and versatile as much as possible. Even the smallest modifications to workstation design and posture can make the world of difference to how you - and your employees - feel at the end of the working day.

Action Checklist:
· Prevention is better than cure. Make sure the comfort needs of employees are assessed and looked after, whatever your budget
· When buying ergonomic goods, take time to look at what you're buying and test it, keeping the needs of the users in mind

MI Capability Manager

Vertex DataScience Ltd

Dont forget to involve the staff as well when testing out new kit. They will be the best judges of suitability and will know how to apply what they see to the 'real world'.

Training Consultant

Accelerated Learning Training

Natural light
I spend a lot of time training in different clients' training rooms. Some are fabulous and some are dreadful. Probably the most important thing in a training room is natural light. If you have to spend days under buzzing strip lighting any training course will lose its message. Another thing that I find helps is plenty of blank wall space so that you can create visuals as you go along and stick them on the walls. Bright colours are quite stimulating but don't go overboard. I have to say that the major issue is lighting - if not natural light, can you get up-lighters? They create a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere. If you put pictures on the wall, sometimes a really thought provoking quotation is better than the really cheesy 'teamwork' ones....

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