The Best Methods for Designing Innovative Learning Environments


Innovative learning environments sell themselves the moment you walk in the door. They’re open, dynamic, and a breath of fresh air compared to the old-fashioned classroom. Learners move freely within them, collaborating personally and technologically. The focus is on colour, comfort, and connection. Also, there’s a buzz and excitement about learning you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Does classroom design make a difference to what gets accomplished in the room itself? It sure does.

Innovative learning environments focusing on colour and comfort have a positive impact on learning and engagement.

Further, organizations like 360 SteelcaseSalford University, and Herman Miller confirm this. So where do you begin with designing your own innovative learning environments?

This infographic from Innova Education has some pointers for you. It’s a veritable how-to reference on what makes up innovative learning environments interns of organization and design. E-Learning Infographics, which hosts the infographic, shares these findings from studies about the correlation between classroom design and student achievement:

“The studies, which were conducted at a number of schools across the UK, recorded the variations in student progress when exposed to different classroom designs and layouts. Researchers found that 75% of the variation in pupil performance can be explained by the built environment—with lighting, air quality, colour and noise disruption cited as the primary factors effecting student engagement.”

Today’s modern classrooms are emerging as a disruption of the classroom of old. Well, a little disruption can be a good thing if it’s done for the right reasons. And there’s no better reason than achieving better learning. Use these cues above for designing innovative learning environments in your school.


I found this article relevant to my thesis because its defines and elaborates on what makes a conducive learning environment. It breaks down the elements of an interior space that most affect students’ ability to learn (color, lighting, air quality, noise disruption. The main take-away is how successful learning environments tickle all the five senses, which can be difficult for the online learning environment to achieve. Experiential learning encompasses all five senses as well as talking and feeling, which embed learning in the long-term memory portion of the brain. Online learning and textbook learning, the economically efficient methods of delivery, are not the optimum methods for deep learning, because they only involve the senses of sight and hearing. How might the virtual learning environment become more sensorially inclusive to encourage long-term retention?