A comparative study on soundscape in high school environment
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The various factors of school environments have been investigated to affect individuals psychologically and physiologically. As one of this, sound has been studied through acoustic measurements focusing on noise management approach. To create positive acoustic environment, it is vital to reveal positive and restorative effects of sounds upon the people. This approach leads to the emergence of concept of ‘soundscape’. Aim of the study is to examine the effect of soundscape on the students’ perception and mood in high-school environment. This study compares classroom and computer laboratory in Bilkent High School, Ankara. The study includes two methods as objective measurements and subjective surveys. To understand the acoustic conditions of spaces, sound levels (LAeq), Reverberation Time (T30), Speech Transmission Index (STI) and Definition (D50) were measured. Questionnaire (n=125), PANAS test (n=125) and semi-structure interview (n=50) were conducted simultaneously. SPSS and Grounded Theory were used to evaluate the subjective results. Results showed that music and natural sound sources mostly preferred to electro-mechanical sounds. Moreover, students do not believe that sound levels have an effect on their class performance or comfort level. Only sociodemographic difference was found between temperature level and gender. It is observed that soundscape creates no effect on the students’ mood. The several differences were found in perceived environment between classroom and computer laboratory. Results showed that the soundscape of a space could not be examined by objective measurements alone such as sound levels. On the other hand, established conceptual framework revealed eight categories. Generated patterns showed that soundscape depends on not only sound sources, but also the physical and social context in which they are heard.