Acoustic Quality of University Classrooms: a Subjective Evaluation of the Acoustic Comfort and Conditions at the University of Sharjah Classrooms
* Presenting author
In a previous study, the noise levels in classrooms and lecture halls at the University of Sharjah (UoS), United Arab Emirates (UAE) were identified as high and in many cases above the standard limits. To assess the effect of such high noise levels on students, we have conducted a campus-wide survey to investigate the effects of such noise on students’ learning experience. The survey aimed at gauging students’ perception of noise levels at various classrooms and impact of noise levels on students’ academic performance. The results showed that students were able to reliably identify the acoustic conditions that interfere with their learning. Strong correlations (R2 = 0.87) between the background noise and persistent noise and its influence on voice sensitivity. Correlations between noise levels and degree of annoyance showed strong relationship between noise levels and percentage of highly annoyed respondents. More than 60% of the students felt that noise interfered with their learning and had an impact on their achievements with no gender bias, but at lower percentage for advanced classes. In addition, the results indicate that students were not comfortable with the noise in the classrooms including the background noise arising from various internal as well external sources.