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A Screening Approach for Classroom Acoustics Using Web-Based Listening Tests and Subjective Ratings

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Kerstin Persson Waye
Lennart Magnusson
Sofie Fredriksson
Ilona Croy
Publicerad i Plos One
Volym 10
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor e0116572
ISSN 1932-6203
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för neurovetenskap och fysiologi, sektionen för klinisk neurovetenskap och rehabilitering
Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa, enheten för arbets-och miljömedicin
Sidor e0116572
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.011...
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/155178
Ämnesord SPEECH-INTELLIGIBILITY, SCHOOL-CHILDREN, NOISE, PERFORMANCE, PERCEPTION, Multidisciplinary Sciences
Ämneskategorier Audiologi

Sammanfattning

Background Perception of speech is crucial in school where speech is the main mode of communication. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether a web based approach including listening tests and questionnaires could be used as a screening tool for poor classroom acoustics. The prime focus was the relation between pupils' comprehension of speech, the classroom acoustics and their description of the acoustic qualities of the classroom. In total, 1106 pupils aged 13-19, from 59 classes and 38 schools in Sweden participated in a listening study using Hagerman's sentences administered via Internet. Four listening conditions were applied: high and low background noise level and positions close and far away from the loudspeaker. The pupils described the acoustic quality of the classroom and teachers provided information on the physical features of the classroom using questionnaires. In 69% of the classes, at least three pupils described the sound environment as adverse and in 88% of the classes one or more pupil reported often having difficulties concentrating due to noise. The pupils' comprehension of speech was strongly influenced by the background noise level (p<0.001) and distance to the loudspeakers (p<0.001). Of the physical classroom features, presence of suspended acoustic panels (p<0.05) and length of the classroom (p<0.01) predicted speech comprehension. Of the pupils' descriptions of acoustic qualities, clattery significantly (p<0.05) predicted speech comprehension. Clattery was furthermore associated to difficulties understanding each other, while the description noisy was associated to concentration difficulties. The majority of classrooms do not seem to have an optimal sound environment. The pupil's descriptions of acoustic qualities and listening tests can be one way of predicting sound conditions in the classroom.

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