Creating the right Study Environment

Learning requires maintaining concentration for long periods of time in order to examine and develop ideas and directions of college papers and other academic writings.  Maintaining concentration for long periods of time can be achieved through creating a suitable environment.  Consideration should be paid, therefore, to the type of learning environment, the way in which a specific learner learns, and the resources that are immediately accessible or need to be purchased.

Consider options for learning environment

Think about the existing options regarding opportunities for a learning environment.  Usual choices are private study places in the library, social places in the library, the IT rooms, quiet areas of a shared student house, and the bedroom. 

Assess learning personality and preference

One should assess themselves though asking questions about how they might prefer to learn, which can influence the choice of where they want to learn and therefore how they can create the right learning environment.  Questions that should be asked include:  what is the preferred learning method: through visuals and animations, through audio, through demonstrations, or through reading? Do you prefer formal learning environments such as a library, or informal learning environments such as a pub?

Assess learning personality

Assess level of self discipline and therefore how likely one is able to avoid distractions.  Low self discipline and low distraction tolerance means that a home environment might not be suitable for long periods of undisturbed learning.  High self discipline and high distraction tolerance shall lead to a person being able to set a routine that involves long periods of concentrated learning.  The home environment would therefore be suitable.

Room furnishings

The area of study should be equipped with a sturdy desk and a strong but comfortable chair. Decide between a computer desk and a normal writing desk.  The desk should be substantial enough to hold all the materials that are required for learning.  There should be enough leg room underneath the desk and enough draws to hold the required stationary. The chair needs to be sturdy and roomy enough to encourage good seating posture, comfort, and is adjustable to individual needs.

Positioning the desk and the chair is an important consideration, and this depends on personal preferences.  Some learners might like to sit by the window, though for some this might not be suitable if sunlight beams through the window potentially for long periods of time.  This will not only increase the heat of any computing equipment being used if they are in the sunlight’s path, but can also heat up the room.  This can be partly overcome by closing the curtains, but then might lead to the need of a light depending on the thickness of the curtains.  

Room conditioning

Make sure the room is at the right temperature.  University buildings are usually very well air conditioned, but in the home environment investment might need to be made in extra equipment.  Heaters and fans are examples of extra equipment that might be required. 

Creating the right learning environment is a subjective process and is a part of learning that should never be approached using a ‘one size fits all’ idea.  To create the right learning environment, the learner needs to understand their learning preferences and personality. Understanding learning preferences and personality can influence the choices made regarding creating the right learning environment.  It does go beyond this examination of personality, as the room’s conditioning, the condition and position of furniture, and and the amount of light all can affect the choices made regarding a suitable learning environment. It is, therefore, a subjective process: a correct learning environment for one student would not be correct for another student.