Do Students Learn More When They Sit in the FrontRow?

By Microserve
Do Students Learn More When They Sit in the FrontRow?

Why use FrontRow?

Most of us have been inside a classroom but whether you remember it or not may be a different story. To jog your memory, picture your high school classroom. In the physical classroom, the teacher stands at the front of the room projecting his/her voice to their students. Of course, that means there’s a front-of-the-class and a back-of-the-class, and along with it, the sentiment that only the most eager students sit in the frontrow. But do frontrow students learn more? 

In a study that reviewed a physics classroom, students were randomly assigned seats at the beginning of their semester and switched seats halfway through. According to the research, “students sitting in the back of the room for the first half of the term were nearly six times as likely to receive an F as students who started in the frontrow of the room”. So why is that the case? In this article, we will explore why seating affects the way students learn. 

Students in the back aren’t taking it in 

Every classroom has invisible barriers to learning that affect the way students consume information. Students who sit in the back may have a harder time taking in information for a variety of reasons. According to FrontRow, “25% of what the teacher says in class never reaches students’ brains.” However, what’s more, alarming is that the amount of missing information increases to 40% for students in the back of the classroom. 

Additionally, studies have shown that students who sit 6 ft/2 m away from their teacher understand 89% of what’s being presented. Double that distance to 12 ft/4m and students understand 55% of what their teacher is saying. Double that again and students only comprehend 36% of the information presented. 

The classroom isn’t set up correctly 

The environment in which students learn is crucial. If your classroom isn’t optimally set up, you could be limiting your students’ learning potential. For example, in a longer room, the teacher will have to project his/her voice more to reach the students in the back. In a wider room, the teacher will have to ensure students on both sides of the room can hear.  

The rooms’ layout can make it challenging to set up the room properly. Here are some tips on how to set up your classroom to reach your students: 

  • Try to position the desks so that all students can hear the teacher equally, keeping in mind that distance effects quality of learning 
  • If possible, teach in a room without unwanted echoes or distractions 
  • Limit class sizes so that the teacher can ensure class-wide participation, even from the students in the back 
  • Invest in technology to improve classroom audio 

Students are still developing hearing skills 

A child’s auditory centre of the brain is not yet fully developed, particularly in children under age 14. According to Speech-Language and Audiology Canada, children require “better signal quality than adults to understand speech well.” This means that children may have a more difficult time learning than adults do; children don’t have the life experiences to help fill in the blanks of unknown information. 

How can we optimize classroom learning? 

Thankfully, technological advancements have teachers’ backs. Optimized classroom audio is a good place to start. With a Juno System, teachers speak into their pendant style microphone and a 2.1 stereo line array helps teachers get up to 25% louder. The FrontRow technology allows the sound to spread more evenly across the room with 180° horizontal sound coverage, eliminating the front-of-the-class/back-of-the-class dilemma. It also reduces unwanted echoing and background noise so students can concentrate.  

And, in the age of the modern workplace, FrontRow has adapted to hybrid-classroom learning. The Juno System integrates with unified communication software like Microsoft Teams to bring remote students into the classroom. This way, they can continue to learn at home – just as they do in the physical classroom. 

The AV Solutions experts at Microserve are here to help. With over 30 years of experience working in K-12 classrooms and universities, we understand the needs of teachers and school districts. For more information about how you can optimize your classroom learning experience, talk to the Microserve team today. 

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