Signal to Noise Ratio in Learning Spaces: does voice fade enough in a standard classroom to complicate auditory learning for all learners?

October 9, 2020

More and more, educators, architects and other stakeholders are responding to regulation, policy and research about speech intelligibility.  But why?

It makes sense that a child’s growing brain needs all the best food it can get and learning via the ears is part of that.  Simply because children haven’t got as many word files stored and not the auditory experience of an adult, a clearer and stronger signal in all part of a learning space helps.  And this is achieved with Hear and Learn technology.

What is Signal to Noise Ratio, and why is a good one crucial to learning?

Emeritus Professor Carol Flexer, arguably the world’s foremost authority in educational audiology, explains here:

But where’s the proof?

One study “The Effect of Classroom Amplification on the Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Classrooms While Class Is in Session” by Jeffery B. Larsen James C. Blair  of Utah State University, Logan concludes:

“The use of a classroom amplification system in 4 elementary school classrooms provided a high SNR, on average, of +13 dB for students across each classroom. The measurement of this SNR at nine different measurement locations across the 4 classrooms provides evidence that, at least for classrooms with good unoccupied acoustic properties, the use of a classroom amplification system can provide excellent acoustic conditions for speech communication by a teacher to all of the students in a classroom. Also, the results of measurements that were made when students were reading demonstrated that when students do not use a classroom amplification system, the SNR of their voices for their fellow students may be poor. The use of a handheld microphone coupled to the class- room amplification system in the present study was successful in improving the SNR of student speech. “

View the study here