Inclusion and perceptual quality in universities
Accessibility is a fundamental requirement for an inclusive education that allows each student to express his or her abilities to the fullest during the studies. Accessibility is linked both to spatial orientation and to the possibility of all students, especially those with visual, hearing or learning disabilities or foreign, to access training content effortlessly.
There is a large body of literature on the relationships between ease of orientation and personal well-being, and between the acoustic and lighting quality of environments and the ability to understand and learn and fatigue. Based on this evidence, we intend to investigate the perceptual quality of the learning environments of the universities participating in the project, involving students and teachers in the analysis of their own university living environments and the teaching practices used in the courses.
University teaching is evolving towards models that differ from classic frontal teaching, making students participate more (flipped classroom) and this requires a different quality of teaching spaces. The poor quality of visual and acoustic perception in training environments has important consequences on the comfort and safety of the use of spaces as well as on the ability to understand training content for all students and teachers and, in particular, for
• Students with hearing or visual impairments,
• Students with learning problems,
• Foreign students.
The range of stakeholders is therefore extremely broad.
In addition, as several studies have shown, teachers can also be negatively affected by lectures held in inadequate acoustic environments, as the phonatory effort can become excessive and lead to serious occupational diseases.
The research project requires interdisciplinary competences including architecture, sound and lighting engineering, learning psychology, audiometry and sociology.
The aim of the study is to raise awareness among both students and professors about the importance of the acoustic, luminous and perceptual quality of university living environments and to develop a framework of knowledge and ideas for improvement of both the physical environments examined (signage, landmarks, acoustic and luminous correction of environments) and the teaching aspects (teaching methods used by lecturers, use of electronic and/or digital teaching aids, etc.).