Classrooms With Nature Views: Evidence of Differing Student Perceptions and Behaviors

Jacob A. Benfield, Gretchen Nurse Rainbolt, Paul A. Bell, Geoffrey H. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Viewing peaceful natural environments has been shown to restore cognitive abilities and reduce physiological arousal. As such, visual access to the natural environment is becoming more commonplace in built environments. One exception to that trend is in educational settings where windowless classrooms are used to reduce outside distractions. The current study examines differences across multiple sections of a college writing course in two types of identically designed classrooms—those with a view of a natural setting and those with a view of a concrete retaining wall. Results showed that students in the natural view classrooms were generally more positive when rating the course. Students in the natural view condition also had higher end of semester grades, but no differences in attendance were observed between conditions. Such findings suggest that classrooms with natural views offer advantages and also suggest that the inclusion of natural elements in courses could facilitate positive perceptions and better grades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-157
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 19 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


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