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Laptops and Classroom Distraction

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Denise Goodell

on 4 April 2016

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Transcript of Laptops and Classroom Distraction

References

Faria, S., Tina, W., & Nicholas J., C. (n.d). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education, 6224-31. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.10.003
Results
Participants & Procedure
Ideas
The Basics
Brief Introduction
"Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers"
Faria Sana, Tina Weston, Nicholas J. Cepeda
Two experiments were conducted to test the effect multitasking on a computer in a classroom setting.
"Multitasking places considerable demands on cognitive resources, which, in turn, degrades overall performance, as well as performance on each task in isolation (Broadbent 1958)."
Experiment 1
Purpose: examine the effects that multitasking has on comprehension test scores compared to those who did not multitask on a computer

Hypothesis: Participants who multitasked while attending to a lecture would have lower comprehension scores compared to participants who did not multitask.
Discussion & Implications
Experiment 1 suggests that multitasking on a laptop negatively impacts performance of those who multitask on a computer while also trying to listen to a lecture.
Experiment 2 suggests that multitasking on a computer negatively impacts performance of surrounding peers who are not taking notes on a computer.
Future Research & Suggestions
Future research
1) Expand multitasking research so that it also examines the "cognitive principles of memory" instead of just the "cognitive principles of attention."

2) Further examine the impact of multitasking in the classroom by manipulating the level of difficulty of the primary and/or create different secondary tasks for the multitaskers
How What's On Your Desk Could Hinder You and Those Around You: Laptops and Classroom Distraction
A 2 (condition: multitasking or non-multitasking) x 2 (question type: simple and applied) mixed factorial ANOVA was conducted (condition = between subjects; question type = within subjects).
A brief summary of the background studies
Experiment 2
Purpose: Examine the effects that multitasking has on the comprehension test scores of students in view of multitasking peers

Hypothesis: Participants who were seated in view of multitasking peers, would have lower comprehension scores compared to participants who had minimal or no visual distraction from multitasking peers.
Participants listened to a lecture on meteorology. While listening to the lecture, students were instructed to either take notes on a computer or by hand.

Independent Variable: position in classroom
Each participant was assigned to one of these independent variable levels:
1) near computer multitasker
2) near persons taking handwritten notes

Dependent Variable: comprehension test score
A 2 (condition: in view of multitasking, not in view of multitasking) x 2 (question type: simple, complex) mixed factorial ANOVA was conducted (condition = between subjects; question type = within subjects).

Participants in view of multitasking peers (M = 0.56, SD = 0.12, n = 19) scored significantly lower than participants not in view of multitasking peers (M = 0.73, SD = 0.12, n = 19).

Participants scored higher on simple questions (M = .69, SD = 0.14, n = 20) than on complex questions (M = 0.60, SD = 0.15, n = 20).

The interaction between these two conditions was not significant.

Overall, participants who multitasked scored 17% lower on a post-lecture comprehension test.
The Basics
Participants & Procedure
Results
Participants listened to a lecture on meteorology. While listening to the lecture, each participant was instructed to take notes on a computer.

Independent Variable: whether the participant multitasked.
Each participant was assigned to one of these independent variable levels:
1) multitasking (assigned 12 additional online tasks)
2) not multitasking (taking notes only)

Dependent Variable: the score on the comprehension test.
Participants:
data was collected from 40 participants
Undergraduate students from a university in a large Canadian city
recruited from "an online portal designed for psychology research"
Every participant was told to bring their laptop (those who could not bring their laptop were unable to participate).
Method:
Upon entering the classroom, participants were randomly assigned to a seat
There were directions on the desk in front of their seat
There were two sets of directions:
1) participants should ONLY take notes on the presentation
2) participants should take notes and complete 12 extra tasks online to simulate normal student multitasking (i.e. Google the answer to the question "What is on Channel 3 tonight at 10 pm?"
Each participant sat in a 45 minute lecture on meteorology
After the experiment, the participants emailed their notes and their responses to the online tasks (if they were assigned to that group).
This was followed by a comprehension test (40 four-option multiple-choice questions) to be answered in 30 minutes
Participants then completed a questionnaire
Rough representation of room set up
Since there were only 20 seats, the experiment was conducted 3 times to obtain the correct sample size.
There were about 14 to 15 participants in each time the experiment was run so there were some seats left empty.
The room was set up the same way as in the previous experiment -- 4 rows with 5 seats each. However this is what each participant would have seen in front of him or her:
Participants who multitasked during the lecture (M = 0.55, SD = 0.11, n = 20) scored significantly lower than participants who did not multitask (M = 0.66, SD = 0.12, n = 20).
Participants scored higher on simple factual questions (M = .60, SD = 0.13, n = 20) than on complex apply-your-knowledge questions (M = 0.56, SD = 0.13, n = 20).
The interaction between these two conditions was not significant. Overall, participants who multitaksed scored 11% lower on a post-lecture comprehension test.
Purpose: To investigate the effect of laptop multitasking on both users and nearby peers in a classroom setting.
"Research suggests that we have limited resources available to attend to, process, encode, and store information for later retrieval (Posner, 1982)."
"When focused on a single primary task, our attentional resources are well directed and uninterrupted, and information is adequately processed, encoded, and stored (Naveh-Benjamin, Craik, Perretta, & Tonev, 2000)."
"When we add a secondary task, attention must be divided, and processing of incoming information becomes fragmented. As a result, encoding is disrupted, and this reduces the quantity and quality of information that is stored (Pashler, 1994)."
"Attentional resources are not infinite (Konig, Buhner, & Murling, 2005; Pashler, 1994). "
"Studies suggest that students who use laptops in class report low satisfaction with their education, are more likely to multitask in class, and are more distracted (Wurst, Smarkola, & Gaffney, 2008).
"Student self-reports and classroom observations suggest that laptops are being used for non-academic purposes, such as instant messaging and playing games (Barak, Lipson, & Lerman, 2006; Driver, 2002), checking email and watching movies (Finn & Inman, 2004), and browsing the Internet (Bugeja, 2007)."
Participants:
data was collected from 38 participants
undergraduate students from a university in a large Canadian city
none participated in Experiment 1
recruited from "an online portal designed for psychology research"
Method:
Upon entering the classroom, participants were randomly assigned to a seat
Directions were laid out in front of them
There were two sets of directions:
1) "participants" took handwritten notes
2) "confederates" used their laptops to browse the internet and pretend to take notes
All participants sat in a 45 minute lecture on meteorology
After the experiment, written notes were collected, confederates were dismissed and debriefed, and the participants were given a comprehension test (40 four-option multiple-choice questions) to be completed in 30 minutes
Participants then completed a questionnaire
Presented by:
Denise Goodell
&
Katelyn Hallman
The experiment was applied in nature, and so it doesn't make major contributions to multitasking or attention theory
Attention wasn't directly measured
Experimenters speculate that attention was impaired due to manipulation
The results from the questionnaires suggested that participants were aware that their multitasking would "somewhat hinder" their attention
However, students were not aware of how much laptop multitasking would affect their nearby peers.
Suggestions
1) Professors/teachers could discuss the consequences of laptop usage at the beginning of the course

2) Professors/teachers could "explicitly discourage laptop use in courses where technology is not required for learning"

3) Professors/teachers could make their classes more interesting and engaging so students do not feel compelled to misuse their laptops
Why this study?
Technology is such an important aspect of our daily lives and many people think that they can handle the effects of multitasking. Many people multitask in order to be more efficient, but does multitasking really increase efficiency?
THE END!
Q&A
Time
Full transcript