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Buildings 2016, 6(2), 18; doi:10.3390/buildings6020018

Perceived Thermal Discomfort and Stress Behaviours Affecting Students’ Learning in Lecture Theatres in the Humid Tropics

1
School of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
2
Department of Vocational and Technology Education, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma, P.O. Box 1237 Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adrian Pitts
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 21 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
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Abstract

The study investigated the relationship between students’ perceived thermal discomfort and stress behaviours affecting their learning in lecture theatres in the humid tropics. Two lecture theatres, LTH-2 and 3, at the Niger Delta University, Nigeria, were used for the study. Two groups of students from the Faculties of Agriculture and Engineering and the Department of Technology Education constituted the population. The sample size selected through random sampling for Groups A and B was 210 and 370 students, respectively. Objective and self-report instruments were used for data collection. The objective instrument involved physical measurement of the two lecture theatres and of the indoor temperature, relative humidity and air movement. The self-report instrument was a questionnaire that asked for the students perceived indoor thermal discomfort levels and the effect of indoor thermal comfort level on perceived stress behaviours affecting their learning. The objective indoor environmental data indicated thermal discomfort with an average temperature of 29–32 °C and relative humidity of 78% exceeding the ASHARE [1] and Olgyay [2].The students’ experienced a considerable level of thermal discomfort and also perceived that stress behaviours due to thermal discomfort affected their learning. Further, there were no significant differences in the perceived thermal discomfort levels of the two groups of students in LTH-2 and 3. Furthermore, stress behaviours affecting learning as perceived by the two groups of students did not differ significantly. In addition, no correlation existed between the perceived indoor thermal discomfort levels and stress behaviour levels affecting learning for students in LTH-2, because the arousal level of the students in the thermal environment was likely higher than the arousal level for optimal performance [3,4]. However, a correlation existed in the case of students in LTH-3, which was expected because it only confirmed the widely-accepted view that stress behaviours exhibited by students in any learning can have a profound effect on learning. It was recommended that teaching-learning indoor environment should be thermally comfortable by providing adequate window openings with proper orientation and also by ensuring that the learning space only accommodated the required student capacity to reduce the stress behaviours that affect learning. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal comfort; teaching-learning; ventilation; humidity; comfort limit; perception thermal comfort; teaching-learning; ventilation; humidity; comfort limit; perception
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Amasuomo, T.T.; Amasuomo, J.O. Perceived Thermal Discomfort and Stress Behaviours Affecting Students’ Learning in Lecture Theatres in the Humid Tropics. Buildings 2016, 6, 18.

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