Investigating the effect of educational equipment noise on smart classroom acoustics

Sabeer H. Mir, Adel A. Abdou


Numerous studies have been carried out highlighting and investigating the acoustics of conventional classrooms for good Speech Intelligibility (SI). However, with the rapid advances in education and instructional technology a new generation of high-tech classrooms referred to as "smart classrooms" is emerging and becoming a necessity at educational institutions. This paper describes the features of smart classrooms which make them different from traditional ones, focusing particularly on the Background Noise (BN) generated by instructional equipment. Measurements were conducted in similar classrooms to assess the magnitude and characteristics of generated noise. With the instructional equipment in operation, acoustical measurements revealed an appreciable increase in the ambient noise level. A computer model of a typical smart classroom is developed to investigate the appropriateness of the classroom layout and surface finishes as recommended by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) [8]. To determine the impact of the resulting BN on SI in such specialized enclosures, simulations of a classroom model with the recommended surface finishes under various BN conditions were carried out. Results showed that it is necessary to restrict the overall BN level to NC-25 (35 dBA), and emphasized the need to select quiet operating instructional equipment.


Acoustics; Computer simulation; Education; Intelligent structures; Speech intelligibility; Background Noise (BN); Classroom acoustics; Computer models; Smart classroom

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