Original Research

Effect of visual feedback on classroom noise levels

Jessica van Tonder, Nadia Woite, Suzaan Strydom, Faheema Mahomed, De Wet Swanepoel
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 5, No 3 | a265 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v5i3.265 | © 2016 Jessica van Tonder, Nadia Woite, Suzaan Strydom, Faheema Mahomed, De Wet Swanepoel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2015 | Published: 06 February 2016

About the author(s)

Jessica van Tonder, Department of Speech- Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Nadia Woite, Department of Speech- Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa
Suzaan Strydom, Department of Speech- Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Faheema Mahomed, Department of Speech- Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
De Wet Swanepoel, Department of Speech- Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Australia; Ear Sciences Centre, School of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia


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Abstract

This study explored the effect of visual feedback on classroom noise levels, using a SoundEar II device that monitors noise levels in real time with feedback on intensity levels using a lighting system. During phase one, noise levels from three classrooms in the same school were measured over 36 h of classroom activities. For phase two, six teachers from two schools completed a questionnaire describing their experiences using the device. Visual feedback resulted in a 1.4-dBA reduction in the average noise levels. Classroom noise levels were above 70 dBA for 33% of the time in the baseline period compared to 24% in the intervention period with visual feedback provided on noise levels. Teacher perceptions indicated that visual feedback was beneficial to classroom noise levels and positively influenced the behaviour of learners. Visual feedback reduced overall classroom noise and can provide a cost-effective, noninvasive tool to create a more enabling classroom environment.

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