Creating a climate conducive to learning

Hi all,
We are about to have our training room decorated and wanted to use a colour scheme which helps to promote learning. Can anyone advise what the best colours are and why?
marianne douglas

Answers

suebeatt's picture

Hi Marianne

I just put colour, mood, offices into google and it came up with loads of sites about how colours set moods.

Happy searching

Sue

ewn1's picture

I am not aware of any research about this, but most architects seem to specify white ceilings and light yellow or magnolia walls for commercial training rooms and classrooms in schools and universities. It wouldn't surprise me if the colour didn’t make any significant difference, but that the trainer’s communication and interpersonal skills did make a big difference. I wonder how many people, if asked a few days later what the colour scheme was like, would remember much about it. But what if you asked them what the trainer was like?

GrahamO'C's picture

Marianne
There are various theories on the psychology of colour. No one colour mix is right for every person, every room or every purpose. But creating the right environment does mean being prepared to challenge the norm of office beige. For example, if your room has limited natural light and will be used for various types of training, you might like to try sunshine yellow accented by a warm red – good for energy, empowerment and a positive atmosphere.
For more information on the use of colours go to:
http://www.weprintcolor.com/colourmoodtest.htm or
http://www.para.com/en/main.html (go to colour then select psychology). Also see http://polo.lancs.ac.uk/mres/2005/Group2/colourresearch.htm and http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/how.html

You might also want to think about plants, posters, furnishings, lighting, music, aromas etc. as they relate to a good learning environment, in which case try the Accelerated Learning Handbook by Dave Meier.

Graham

I'd paint it the colour of Blu-Tak.

Agree entirely with Livia, pale green and mauve is a good soothing colour.
In a previous employment I inherited a training room with north lights and brilliant white walls - in short it made me consider adding snow blindness as a hazard in my health & safety training.

I spent some time researching colours and their influences on moods and whilst I could find no definitive guidance it was agreed that pastel colours were the way to go. I asked my delegates for their thoughts and feedback and finally, considering all options settled on mint and mauve.

The only issue I had was that I foolishly volunteered to paint the room and over optimistically bought 3 tins of paint for a large breeze block room. Anyone who has ever tried to paint over brilliant white will know how foolish I was. I have terrible memories of a weekend of hell painting that room, going through a lake of paint and still finding white patches showing through. Having said that, however, the finished result was excellent, much more welcoming and I never saw another mention of my training room paint scheme on my happy sheets after that.

I think it's great to use colours in training rooms. We use pale green and mauve (someone told us they were good for learning and concentration - not sure if there's any evidence it's worked, but it's easier on the eye than magnolia or brilliant white).

One thing I would say, is remember that whatever colour you use, you want to be able to re-do it on a regular basis. Your beautiful walls will quickly look scruffy when covered in blu-tac stains and scuffs from chairs / flipchart stands. If you don't have the resources to repaint the whole room regularly, make sure you get a paint that you can reliably get the same colour year after year.

Sam Swinstead's picture

Aah yes but we hit a problem here - I just bought some new Blu-Tak and it have four stripes of different neon coloured "taks" - could paint each wall the colour of one stripe then coordinate with the sticky stuff maybe? But methinks that will definitely be headache inducing in a training room!

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