Introduction shown to distract students (Ravizza, Uitvlugt, & Fenn,

Introduction

            As laptop use becomes even more
common in college classrooms, many people have debated whether it is more
beneficial or detrimental to students’ learning. Students can use laptops to
take notes and complete class participation activities, but they also have easy
access to the Internet, which could hinder their learning. In addition, the use
of other electronics such as portable devices has also been shown to distract
students (Ravizza, Uitvlugt, & Fenn, 2017).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

            Despite the evidence relating
portable devices to decreased learning, students deny that its use has any
effect on their learning. The researchers seek to find out why there is a
misunderstanding within the students about the effects of their laptop use and which
types of sites had the most effect on the students’ learning.

 

Method

            127 out of 500 students from an
introductory psychology class at Michigan State University were invited to take
part in the study and agreed to participate. However, only 84 of these students
ended up in the final sample as the rest did not log into the proxy server for
at least half of the sessions. The students’ internet use was examined as they
logged into the proxy server during of the lectures. The variables that were
measured were actual internet use, self-reported internet use, classroom
performance, and intelligence. The actual internet use was divided into 7
groups in order to see its impact on the classroom performance. Lastly, the
students filled out a survey in which they indicated how much they used the
Internet during class. Additional questions asked for variables such as their
motivation and interest.

 

Results

            The study’s results found that four
variables were directly related to academic performance, with nonacademic
internet use having the greatest influence. For example, the study found that
Internet use determined exam scores within both the high and low ACT score
levels. In addition, among the 7 groups of internet use, social media and video
sites were found to have a convincing detrimental impact on students’ learning.

In terms of the students’ thoughts about the impact of internet use on
learning, the ones that knew that it was hindering their learning performed
worse. One caveat to this finding is that the survey was given at the end of
the semester, after receiving their grades.

 

Discussion

            These
results point to the conclusion that Internet use during class interferes with
learning and also that there are not necessarily any advantages to it in the
classroom. There is also the question of why the students who had the knowledge
of the Internet disrupting their learning still surfed the web. One possibility
is that the students were not aware of the effect until the end of the
semester, when they filled out the survey. The second possibility is that the
students couldn’t resist their addiction to the Internet and despite knowing
its negative effects, surfed the web anyway. This brings us to the conclusion
that students are not utilizing technology in the most optimal way. The
researchers mentioned one downside to their method, which was that they did not
monitor the use of computer activity outside of the internet. These programs
could have also contributed to distracting the students during class. Furthermore,
we can now see that there is not a misunderstanding within students about the
effects of their laptop use; as mentioned above, those who believed in a
negative effect performed worse while those who didn’t were not affected by
Internet use. As a result, there is doubt as to whether we should keep asking