Use of an application to verify classroom acoustic recommendations for children who are hard of hearing in a general education setting

Meredith Spratford, Elizabeth A. Walker, Ryan W. McCreery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Classrooms including children who are hard of hearing (CHH) may be modified to manage noise and reverberation and improve speech perception. Little is known about the acoustic characteristics of contemporary general education classrooms that include CHH compared to classrooms of typical peers. We proposed the following research questions about the acoustic environment of general education classrooms including CHH: (a) How reliable are acoustic measurements collected using an iOS device, application, and external microphone? (b) What proportion of classrooms meet the American National Standards Institute’s standards for unoccupied noise levels and reverberation? Method: A smartphone application was used to measure sound levels, reverberation, and clarity for 164 general education classrooms including CHH. Linear mixed models were used to examine the following: (a) reliability of acoustic measures made using an application and external microphone and (b) predictors of sound levels, reverberation, and clarity for elementary classrooms including CHH. Results: Results indicate the application reliably measures classroom acoustics. Classrooms exceeded the American National Standards Institute’s recommended noise levels, but met reverberation time guidelines. Grade; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning status; and room volume predicted classroom acoustics. Conclusions: As a screening tool, the application was shown to be effective in reliably measuring reverberation and classroom noise levels. The high levels of noise in unoccupied classrooms indicate a need for increased use of noise abatement strategies and the use of remote-microphone systems, especially in classrooms where noise levels cannot feasibly be reduced. Using an application may be a cost-effective method for monitoring important acoustic features that impact children’s ability to understand speech in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-934
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Acoustics
Hearing
Noise
Education
Air Conditioning
Speech Perception
Aptitude
Heating
Ventilation
Linear Models
Guidelines
Costs and Cost Analysis
Equipment and Supplies
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

Use of an application to verify classroom acoustic recommendations for children who are hard of hearing in a general education setting. / Spratford, Meredith; Walker, Elizabeth A.; McCreery, Ryan W.

In: American journal of audiology, Vol. 28, No. 4, 01.01.2019, p. 927-934.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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