A number of factors detrimental to listening in college classrooms were identified by students in this study. One way to improve listening conditions in an environment with high ambient noise levels and poor acoustics is to improve the signal/noise ratio by use of sound field amplification. This system uses a microphone worn by the teacher, a base station, and a varying number of speakers strategically placed throughout the classroom. When such a system was utilized in classrooms in the College of Agriculture and Forestry, West Virginia University, students reported that they could hear and understand the instructor better than when the system was not used. This improvement is particularly important for groups anticipated to have a high prevalence of hearing loss such as those in agriculture and forestry curricula.
listening conditions, higher education, classrooms, forestry