Kickstarter and Stephen Heppell reveal findings on learning environment conditions


The Learnometer platform brings together a hugely experienced multidisciplinary team to create a unique combination of hardware, software and analysed data that help learners, and thus schools, perform better by optimising physical environments for learning.

Team skills include worldwide educational research, software engineering, electronic engineering, education facility design, large and small scale learning project delivery, and learning design. Professor Stephen Heppell and the team have a LOT of successful years and projects under their belts. The team's backgrounds range from university and school to corporate employment.

The Learnometer team have built and successfully tested prototype devices; the next step is to refine the design and build the complex algorithms, calibrations and interrelationships between variables.

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Professor Stephen Heppell and Kickstarter have announced the findings of their Learnometer research report. The project has seen Prof Heppell and his team designing the Learnometer device, which measures and analyses copious learning environment factors, such as temperature, noise, humidity and light. The research, carried out over a number of months, invited schools to measure their own learning environments, while the Kickstarter team measured over fifty examination rooms across the world.

The Learnometer device, currently being backed via a Kickstarter funding page, is hooked up to a computer (including tablets) to allow teachers an insight into the minutiae of their learning environments. School staff can adjust temperature, sound, airflow and light to be optimum, helping to make learning as good as it can be.

“The research clearly identified that various conditions have a profound impact on performance,” said Professor Stephen Heppell, project leader and professor at Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth University. “The results show how these conditions can unfairly skew the outcome of children’s hard work. In so many cases they will perform below their best, simply because the environment they are in is damaging to their performance. It can be compared to trying to run 100 metres in heavy boots.

“It was fascinating to see so many teachers’ shock to realise from their own data gathering, why groups of children are disengaged, not concentrating, or underperforming. As we approach GCSE and A level exams, it is time to give everyone the best chance possible. This isn't currently happening.”

The device (hardware and connectivity) comes in three forms: Micro-LOM, Mini-LOM and the ‘Full-fat’ LOM device.

  • Micro provides temperature, pressure and humidity readings.
  • Mini gives users the above, plus light and sound.
  • The full LOM reads and uploads temperature, humidity, pressure, light, sound, CO2 and pollution via a wireless connection. The Learnometer cloud backend will also allow staff to log, record and compare data.

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