(159) The Impact of Interior Houseplants in University Classrooms on Course Performance, Course Satisfaction, and Student Perceptions of the Course and Instructor

in HortScience

Many individuals and businesses enhance the central design of their homes or offices with living interior plants. While the aesthetic values of interior greenery are obvious, some research has suggested that interior living plants may offer some psychological and restorative values, such as reduced tension, better coping mechanisms, and increased concentration and attention. The main objective of this research was to investigate the impact of plants within a university classroom setting on course performance, course satisfaction, and student perceptions of the instructor. The study was designed to include a minimum of two classes of the same coursework, taught by the same professor in the same room. Three sets of two classes each, and ≈500 students were included within the study. Throughout the semester, the experimental class of students was treated by including an assortment of tropical plants within the classroom. Plants were not present in the control classroom of the study. A survey administered to each classroom of students at the end of the semester asked students to provide demographic data including class rank, gender, and grade point average. The professor for each course provided information on each student's grade for the course, as well as overall quantitative information on how well students were satisfied with the experience they had within the course. The results demonstrate value added to the classroom experience and help to justify consideration of the added expense of interior plants in meeting the goals of instructor and curriculum.

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