Posts Tagged ‘using devices during class’

Proof The Distraction of Electronic Devices Means You Aren’t Paying Attention: College Students Checking Phones During Class Have Lower Grades

January 11, 2019

While reading President Trump’s latest tweets may seem like a much better alternative than listening to liberal college professors drone on about politics, a new study suggests that constantly checking your phone during class could come back to haunt you during exam time.

According to a new study in Educational Psychology, students in college classes that are allowed access to electronic devices such as smartphones or tablets that include nonacademic vices such as Facebook or Twitter tend to perform at a lower academic standard compared to classmates attending lectures where such devices were banned.

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In the study, researchers at Rutgers University compared two separate classroom environments for learning: one class allowed tablets and cellphones for student usage, while another class banned the use of electronics entirely during lecture.

In their findings, researchers noted that students enrolled in the class that allowed smartphones and tablets to be used that admitted to using them during class performed approximately 5 percent lower (roughly half a letter grade) on the end of term final examination when compared to the population of students in the class that banned electronics.

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It is also worth noting that students enrolled in the smartphone/tablet-friendly class who did not report using the devices during class performed better than their peers who chose to use the devices, but still did not perform as well as their peers in the class where electronics were banned, suggesting that such devices likely create a disruptive classroom environment that is detrimental to everyone’s grade, not just those who use devices.

The main author of the study, Arnold Glass, noted that while the usage of the devices were most detrimental to the grades of those individuals who were using the devices, the lack of rules banning their use almost certainly impact the information retention of all individuals enrolled in the class.

“These findings should alert the many dedicated students and instructors that dividing attention is having an insidious effect that is impairing their exam performance and final grade,” said Glass. “To help manage the use of devices in the classroom, teachers should explain to students the damaging effect of distractions on retention — not only for themselves, but for the whole class.”

John Patrick (@john_pat_rick) is a graduate of Canisius College and Georgia Southern University. He interned for Red Alert Politics during the summer of 2012 and has continued to contribute regularly.

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