General Characteristics of Learning Spaces


  • Classrooms should be concentrated on the entry levels of buildings to provide easy access for students and equipment.
  • Classrooms should be located away from noise generators, such as mechanical rooms or student gathering places.
  • For classrooms that need to be darkened, windows which face south, east and west require a higher degree of blackout capability than do north-facing windows.
  • Light-blocking window blinds set in channels shall be provided where windows exist (Opaque drapes with cord tighteners or blackout shades by special request).
  • Typically designed with 20 to 25 square foot per student, to accommodate the programmed number of occupants with:
  • Approximately 20 SF/student for moveable seating
  • Approximately 10 SF/student for fixed seating
  • Approximately 20 SF/student for conference table seating
  • Ceiling should have an average height of not less than 11-12', and allow for a projection screen large enough to display images of adequate size, and placed high enough off the floor to provide unobstructed sight lines.
  • Orientation
    • The major entry should be at the rear of the room.
    • Windows should be on the sides of classrooms, not at the front or back.
  • All classrooms shall comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
  • Audio-visual accommodations
    • Support space must allow for the setup and use of audio-visual equipment.
    • Classroom design shall consider present and future instructional technology
    • Design shall focus on ease of use and effective instructional practice
  • Writable surface shall be installed with appropriate accessibility and optimal surface required. 
    • Consideration should be given to projection screen and or display placement to maximize marker board use

KI is the University’s strategically-sourced manufacturer for classroom furniture and the University has a contract directly with the manufacturer. For more information and product selections visit: KI

All classrooms should include at minimum the following at the front of the room for teachers’ use:

  • (1) height-adjustable stool with casters and polypropylene chair shell
  • (1) table with locking casters and high-pressure laminate top. Minimum 18”D x 60”W.

Furniture by classroom type:

Auditorium/Fixed Seating:

  • 22” minimum seat width
  • Standard seat materials:
    • Polypropylene
    • Stain-resistant and/or bleach-cleanable upholsteries with 100,000+ double rubs
  • 10”x16” minimum tablet in high-pressure laminate

Table/Chair Classrooms:

  • Seat count and configuration should allow for a minimum of 30” of linear work surface space per user.
  • Distance between tables at seating should be 48” minimum.
  • Distance between tables at center and side aisles should be 36” minimum.
  • Table features:
    • Locking casters
    • Minimum 20” deep work surface
    • High-pressure laminate top with t-mold edge
  • Chair features:
    • Casters
    • Polypropylene seats and backs
    • Armless
    • No cup holders, book trays, or other accessories

Tablet Arm Chair Classrooms (Active Learning):

  • Seat count and configuration should allow for a minimum of 20 square feet per student.
  • Tablet arm chair features
    • Casters
    • Polypropylene seats and backs
    • Armless
    • No cup holders, book trays or other accessories
    • Non-handed, high-pressure laminate tablet arm

Projection Screen/Display:

  • Screen height should be no less than 6 times the distance to the furthest viewer.
  • Screen size will be determined by IT based on room size, ambient light, viewing angles, ceiling height, etc. Consideration will be given to installing screens that will accommodate upcoming changes in video aspect ratio (i.e., for high definition display).
  • Screens larger than 10’ will be motorized, with low voltage controls; all others will be manual pull-down style. With controlled screen return capabilities.
  • Screens shall be installed to allow the lowest side of the projected image to be at least 36” above the floor. Preferably 48” Above Finished Floor.
  • Manual screens 96” and larger should have controlled ascent.
  • The distance between the projection screen and the first row of seats should be at least two times the width of the projected image, and the distance between the screen and the last row of seats should be at most eight times the width of the projected image.

Instructor's Station, and/or Table, Lecture, Podium:

  1. Size and mobility options to be determined by space and need (i.e., standard classroom, active learning, auditorium, etc.).
  2. Appropriate ventilation and equipment rack space shall be installed.

In collaboration with KU DCM, KU IT performs certain functions during the construction of new classroom environments and construction upgrades to older classrooms. These functions include:

  • Networking

    • Information Technology will ensure an adequate number of network connections are available in each room for the technology installed, including wired Ethernet for control systems, desktop computer and one spare Ethernet for laptop connection.
    • Wireless networking through the Jayhawk SSID may be available in the classroom. For more information on wireless coverage and connections, please see the KU IT Wi-Fi Overview.