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There’s a lot of talk about how to improve grades in the classroom. And with so much pressure on the budget, there’s a great concern that our students might not get the complete education they deserve. I came across a study that was presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Orlando, FL on December 9, 1995. The full text of study can be found at SOUNDFIELD FM AMPLIFICATION: FLORIDA’S IMPROVING CLASSROOM ACOUSTICS PROJECT.

The study is credited to Gail Gegg Rosenberg, M.S.,CCC-A, School Board of Sarasota County, Sarasota, FL and Patricia Blake-Rahter, M.S.,CCC-A, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. It’s part of the famous MARRS study web site.


The IMPROVING CLASSROOM ACOUSTICS (ICA) special project was designed to determine if students’ listening and learning behaviors improved as a result of an enhanced acoustical environment.

The results of the study are very interesting and summarized below. This study shows that when we invest in technology in classrooms (such as a soundfield amplification system) we can provide our children with a better education. Across North America and now moving worldwide thousands of classrooms are being equipped with these types of systems. Here at Listen, we will be shipping our ListenPoint Soundfield system soon. You can see the user interface for ListenPoint on this recent blog post: The ListenPoint Microphone.

Summary of Results

  • Studies show that students in early grade general education amplified classrooms demonstrated significantly greater change in listening and learning behaviors and skills and at a faster rate than their peers in un-amplified classrooms.
  • Younger students showed the greatest improvement in listening and learning behaviors and skills.
  • Students gave a positive evaluation for the use of FM Soundfield amplification. More than 95% of the students agreed that the FM Soundfield system made it easier for them to hear their teacher, helped them listen better, and helped them to hear when their teacher was writing on the board. At least 94% agreed that their teacher’s voice was loud and clear when using the FM system and at least 92% agreed that they wanted to use the FM system in their class again the following year.
  • Classroom teachers unanimously identified a decrease in vocal strain as the foremost benefit from using FM Soundfield amplification.
  • Classroom teachers used the FM Soundfield system an average of 4.18 hours per day.
  • Teachers were in 100% agreement that the FM system enabled their voice to reach all students no matter where they were seated. Teachers also were in 100% agreement that they enjoyed using the FM Soundfield system in their classrooms.
  • Teachers were in at least 92% agreement that they experienced less emotional strain and fatigue during teaching and the need to repeat directions and information decreased when using the FM Soundfield system. They were also in at least 92% agreement that the FM system was easy to use, they felt comfortable using it, and would like to use it in their classroom again the following year.
  • Teachers were in at least 96% agreement that students’ behaviors related to attentiveness, listening, and comprehension seemed to improve when using the FM system.
  • At least 85% of parents agreed that their child would like to continue using the FM Soundfield system in their classroom the following year and at least 83% agreed that their child enjoyed using the system.
  • Parents were in at least 46% agreement that their child’s grades improved when using the FM system and at least 44% agreed that their child’s behavior improved at school when the Fm system was in use.
  • School administrators were in 100% agreement that teachers seemed to enjoy using the FM Soundfield systems.
  • There was at least 92% agreement by school administrators that the FM Soundfield system enhanced class instruction and management.
  • School administrators were in at least 53% agreement that there was a decrease in the number of behavior referrals from amplified classes.
  • FM Soundfield amplification is a cost effective instructional delivery equipment based on a $0.14 daily cost per person for a typical class (1 teacher and 25 students). The cost would decrease to a $0.03 per person daily rate by adding a minimal 5 year longevity factor.
Three separate ListenTALK receivers in a row with different group names on each display screen.
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