Computer Labs New Look

21 Jan 2020 - 08:45
Anatomy building UCT computer lab
Computer Labs New Look

The Computer Lab plays an important role in the faculty of Health Sciences, evidenced by its high usage for learning, tutorials and assessment-type activities. Some aspects make it less than ideal as a learning environment: because it is situated in the basement of the building, there are no windows to admit natural light or fresh air into the venue.

Research stresses the importance of having a learning environment that supports effective learning. The physical setting has a significant influence on the behaviours that occurs within said learning environments1, facilitating certain behaviour and hindering others. While there is a weak correlation between performance and classroom aesthetics, there is some evidence that it influences behaviour and feelings of comfort. Physical environmental parameters are interrelated and comfort is commonly influenced by various factors2.

Unfortunately, due to space limitations, number of computers needed and location, many of the physical aspects of the Computer Lab space are immutable. When Properties and Services generously agree to repaint the computer lab, much thought went into selecting colours which would positively influence learning3,4.


- Blue: evidence suggests that blue enables those with highly intellectual work to be more productive.

- Yellow: suggested to encourage creatively and clarity. The bright hue creates positive feelings and improves attention.

- Green: intended to promote restfulness and calm; green could improve efficiency and focus.

- Purple: stimulates the creative part of the brain.

In addition, the big monitor in the lab, when not used for teaching, displays a ‘window’ view to a forest, to compensate for the fact there are no windows. Lastly, we are also trying to obtain some plants to add even more greenery.

We hope that the new colours will impact learning and attitude positively, from students and staff.

1. Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2013). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and environment, 59, 678-689.

2. Weinstein, C. S. (1981). Classroom design as an external condition for learning. Educational Technology, 21(8), 12-19. 3. 4.