Markus Oberdörster and Gerhart Tiesler
The acoustic environment of classrooms has a significant impact on new modern teaching scenarios. Today, in many countries, education and teaching is becoming more student centred and differentiated. Classrooms that might have worked well for decades might have to be acoustically “updated”. Markus Oberdörster from Ecophon Germany, together with Gerhart Tiesler from ISF University of Bremen in Germany, spent years investigating the room acoustic conditions of a large amount of German classrooms. Markus talked about acoustics and teaching styles, but also questioned the relevance of Sabine’s formula in non-diffuse conditions and reverberation time as the only acoustic descriptor to use. Gerhart took this further by revealing data on how poor room acoustics has an impact on teacher’s workload, i.e. heart rate as stress indicator. The consequence of acoustically good classrooms is reducing the stressor “noise”, giving higher activation, reducing fatigue and potentially better learning results by the students.