Does it matter where students sit in lecture halls?

Does it matter where students sit in lecture halls?
Lecture theater. Credit: FEBS

Lectures are a staple of higher education, and understanding how students interact and learn within the lecture theatre environment is central to successful learning. In a new study published in FEBS Open Bio, researchers examined students' reasons for choosing particular seats in a lecture hall, and investigated how seating positions correlate with student performance.

Many students preferred being able to sit with their friends, while others were more concerned with either attracting or avoiding the lecturer's attention. Some students chose seats that allowed them to see and hear clearly, while others picked easily vacatable seats that made them feel less anxious.

Friendship groups who sat together tended to achieve similar grades, and students who sat alone at the edges tended to do worse than average. Lecturers may be able to use these findings to provide assistance to anxious students, and to support the learning of all students by encouraging interactions between the different groups.

"Interaction is a key part of learning and knowing who the students are interacting with can be a great benefit when designing activities," said lead author Dr. David P. Smith, of Sheffield Hallam University, in the UK.


Explore further

Checking phones in lectures can cost students half a grade in exams

More information: FEBS Open Bio, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … 1002/2211-5463.12494
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Does it matter where students sit in lecture halls? (2018, August 22) retrieved 18 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-students-halls.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
6 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more