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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The relationships between subjectively evaluated perceptual qualities and the relative occurrence rate in informal learning spaces Kalef, Ryan


Previous research on the acoustic properties of learning environments employed standard acoustic parameters, such as Leq, Reverberation Time and the Speech Intelligibility Index. These acoustic properties did not correlate strongly with subjectively evaluated perceptual qualities (subjective qualities) of acoustic environment, such as fatigue, annoyance, distraction, stress, difficulty hearing, and difficulty talking. The present study had the purpose of developing a novel acoustic measure, the Relative Occurrence Rate (ROR), of learning spaces that is based on the measuring of temporal variation of an acoustic environment. This measure was derived by modifying the Occurrence Rate (OR) parameter introduced by Sbhihi et al (2010). This measure of sound level variation over time was correlated with subjective qualities obtained from a questionnaire administered in a previous study of informal learning spaces by Hodgson and colleagues in 2010. The results showed that significant correlations exist between ROR and the subjective qualities of fatigue, annoyance, distraction, stress, difficulty talking, difficulty hearing, people and continuous noise.

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