High school student performance on exams can be improved by conducting tests in rooms with windows that look out on nature, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that students’ capacity to focus and pay attention improved by 13% if they had a green view from the room’s windows.
The study involved placing nearly 100 students into three types of classrooms: a windowless room, a room with windows looking onto a built space such as parking lot, or a room with windows looking onto a green space. Students were given tests on various subjects including proofreading, mathematics, and memory, with researchers measuring physiological markers for stress levels.
While the green spaces were shown to be beneficial, the data showed no difference between being placed in a windowless classroom as opposed to one with a view of the built environment. The scientists hope that the research will help designers and other building professionals create educational spaces that optimize outcomes.