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Research Trajectories in Classroom Acoustics: Investigating Children Perception Beyond Accuracy

Nicola Prodi, Chiara Visentin


Classroom acoustics has been a topic of research for decades and still attracts the interest of scientists because of the many aspects that are involved, which range from listener centered issues such as cognitive proficiency to the acoustical design of the room and also to speaker’s alterations in noisy conditions. Prof. Murray Hodgson has been a key person in the field and his findings have inspired many others that followed, including the present authors. In this work it is firstly discussed that the objective acoustical indicators whose provision warrants a suitable speech intelligibility in the classroom are not able to disentangle listening conditions which are perceived and rated differently by the listeners. For this reason an additional assessment has been developed based on the audiologically–oriented concept of “listening effort”. The method is implemented by means of one of the  proxy measures of listening effort, that is the response time to the auditory stimulus. The present work reviews the main results obtained when the approach was applied to several problems related to classroom acoustics.


classroom acoustics, noise, speech intelligibility, response time

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