When the classroom is a welcoming place and provides a stimulating sensory experience, participants are more likely to retain and use the information they learn. The room must look organized. Any obstacles that exist between the trainer and learners should be eliminated. The lighting must be good, and seating should be organized in a way that encourages participation.
Research suggests that color improves mental recall. Lucas lists twelve ways to add more color to a training room. These include (1) using colorful posters, (2) adding graphics to visual aids, (3) placing toys on tables, (4) using colorful training aids, (5) incorporating party decorations, (6) using colored markers, (7) using colored paper for handouts, (8) wearing bright colors, (9) brainstorming with colored sticky notes, (10) using fluorescent highlighters, (11) capturing ideas on colored index cards, and (12) controlling discussion with traffic-type signs.
Scientists also have discovered that music can increase attention levels and reinforce concepts that are shared in the classroom. To take advantage of this fact, trainers might want to use music in the following situations:
- When learners enter the training room.
- As a speaker or learner comes to the front of the room.
- When the instructor wants to boost learners’ enthusiasm.
- After a game or activity.
- During breaks.
- When learners’ motivation levels are decreasing.
- During a visualization.
- During an exercise where participants work in teams to create songs that incorporate key terms.
- When the instructor wants to signal the end of an activity.
Lucas identifies other effective ways to enhance the classroom environment. These include choosing the right type of room for the session, keeping the temperature between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, adding nonflowering plants, using full spectrum light, adding pleasant aromas, providing food and drink for learners, using movable furniture, and knowing where the climate and electrical controls are located in the room.