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Students Use of and Perspectives on Computer Use in the Classroom Michael Disch, Ph.D., BSS.

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Presentation on theme: "Students Use of and Perspectives on Computer Use in the Classroom Michael Disch, Ph.D., BSS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Students Use of and Perspectives on Computer Use in the Classroom Michael Disch, Ph.D., BSS

2 Overview Questions of Interest and Research Methodology Computer Ownership, Usage in Class, and Frequency of Classroom Use Student Perception of Allowance of Laptop Use in Class by Faculty Why Students Dont Take Computers to Class Classroom Uses of Computers Perceptions of the Impact of Computers on the Classroom Learning Environment

3 Questions of Interest Key Questions of Interest: How many students use their laptops in class, and if they dont, why not? What are students using their computers for during class? How is in-class computer use perceived? Is it a distraction, or does it facilitate the learning process? Other Questions of Interest: Student perspectives on note-taking Student perception of teacher allowance of tech in the classroom, and teacher usage of Blackboard

4 Research Methods Survey 22 questions (9 contingency questions) developed and administered anonymously using the Qualtrics survey tool at end of Spring 2010 semester Participants 48 undergraduate students (27 sr, 15 jr, 3 soph, and 3 fy) enrolled at SEU. Average age = 21.3 years of age; 75% female; 77% PSYC majors. Concerns Data does not come from a representative sample, and is self-reported; data could be skewed, despite anonymity

5 Computer Ownership and Use in Class Percentage of students owning computers (by type), and percentage who report bringing their laptop to class.

6 Computer Ownership and Use in Class Conclusion: the vast majority of respondents (98%) report own laptops, but less than 1/3 report bringing them to class.

7 Frequency of Use in Class Question: How frequently do students bring their laptop to class?

8 Frequency of Use in Class Answer: Less than 10% of students bring their laptops to class on a regular basis. Use is no greater for lecture as opposed to discussion based courses.

9 Instructor Allowance of Laptop Use Question: How acceptable is laptop use during class? Students perception of faculty allowance of laptops during class.

10 Instructor Allowance of Laptop Use Students report that most faculty allow laptops in the classroom, at least some of the time. However, less than 1/3 take advantage of this opportunity.

11 Why Students Dont Use Laptops in Class Question: Why arent students bringing their computers to class? Percentage of students reporting the above reasons for NOT bringing their laptops to class.

12 Why Students Dont Use Laptops in Class Answers: Laptops are a hassle to use, due to their weight, potential need for electrical outlets, and for security reasons. Notetaking by hand is preferred. Percentage of students reporting the above reasons for NOT bringing their laptops to class.

13 Why Students Dont Use Laptops in Class As technologies develop to allow for greater portability (e.g. iPad, netbooks), it is probable that classroom usage will increase. Percentage of students reporting the above reasons for NOT bringing their laptops to class.

14 Why Students Dont Use Laptops in Class Conclusion: If usage increases in the future, it may necessitate greater concern about the potentially negative impact that computer use may have. Percentage of students reporting the above reasons for NOT bringing their laptops to class.

15 Classroom Usage: What are they doing? Question: What are students who bring their laptops to class actually doing with their computers? Percent of students reporting the above classroom laptop uses.

16 Classroom Usage: What are they doing? Notetaking and are the most prevalent uses. Other uses (other work, internet, etc.) may or may not be relevant to the class at hand. Percent of students reporting the above classroom laptop uses.

17 Classroom Usage: What are they doing? Students were also asked to rank order nine potential uses of their laptops during class. Non-academic uses, other than , are relatively uncommon, but are still a serious concern. Rank OrderingActivity Most Common – Avg. Rank of , Notetaking, and Research Somewhat Common – Avg. Rank of Social Networking, Preparing Presentations, & Writing Papers Uncommon – Avg. Rank of Listening to Music, Gaming, and Shopping

18 Perceptions of Classroom Comp. Use Roughly 68% of respondents reported that they did NOT bring their computers to class. Of these, 42% report that one reason for this is that laptops are a distraction. Further Questions for All Respondents: Do students find self-laptop use to be a distraction? Do students find laptop use in the classroom to be a distraction in general? Do students see laptops as facilitory in the classroom?

19 Is Self-Use of a Laptop Distracting? Responses indicate a bi-modal distribution, with half of respondents agreeing that their own laptop use distracts them.

20 Generally, are Laptops a Distraction? Most respondents dont find laptops to be a distraction in general, but roughly 1/3 do. This may indicate that others use is less distracting than self-use.

21 Do Laptops Facilitate the Classroom? Interestingly, students as a group do not seem to be sure whether laptops are beneficial or not.

22 Conclusions Most students have laptops, but do not often bring them to class, due to the hassle involved, and a preference for handwriting notes, despite the fact that they perceive this actions as generally accepted by faculty. Notetaking and represent the most widely engaged in classroom computer uses. Distractions caused by computers are a serious concern, though relatively few students engage in blatantly non- academic activities, other than . The student jury is out as to whether laptops can facilitate learning.

23 Implications As computers become increasingly portable, it is hypothesized that their usage in class will increase. With increased computer usage, the potential for distractions may also increase. Technologies and/or classroom protocols will need to be developed to help reduce distractions and facilitate learning if computers become more prevalent in the classroom.

24 Acknowledgements This research was conducted during the Spring 2010 semester by students in PSYC 4359, under direction of the faculty, in partial completion of the requirements for the course. The following students contributed to this work: Will Marshall Amanda Fernandez-May Michael Pegues Sara Nannen Casey Bond Marisa McCloskey David Robin


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