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Results from the qualitative responses to the post-survey confirm that the layout of Office A created an environment that “allows for better and easier communication” and participants repeatedly referred to the discussion with the advisor as being “more like talking with a friend.” One participant shared that “the seat placement is placed in the way that there is no superior-subordinate feeling.” Participants were asked how their seat placement impacted their expectations of the advising session.

Responses to this question provided the most variation between the two layouts.

Initial survey of academic advisors A literature search for physical environments that impact student learning uncovered articles on classroom and building spaces but none of the information needed to help academic advisors better structure their office spaces.

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Advisors with office layout B (see Appendix A ) thought that the desk between them and the student provided more work space to help students.

(Note: not all advisors could choose their preferred office arrangement; some advisors were unable to move their furniture due room design.) Two advisors switched from layout B to A; they remarked upon differences noted in student comfort level.

Further Study Within a year of receiving results of the advisor survey I developed an IRB approved, pre- and post-advising survey for students to study students’ preferred office design.

This environmental study observed two common desk layouts within universities nationwide, their impact on students’ first impression of the advisor, and the impact of the office layout on collaboration between students and their advisor (See Appendix A for layouts of office A and B).

Almost half of the “Office A” students noted that the seat placement set the mood for the advising session while only a quarter indicated that the seat placement in “Office B” changed their reaction for the better.

Last modified 25-Feb-2020 01:32