Faculty Focus: Students Think They Can Multitask. Here’s Proof They Can’t

The Teaching Professor Blog has a post today by Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D. dealing with multitasking.  She maintains that while most of us, and our students, think this is a great way to work, only about 5% of people can “effectively” multitask.  She provides evidence from 5 published studies dealing with students and multitasking.

The studies include:

Ellis, Y., Daniels, W. and Jauregui, A. (2010). The effect of multitasking on the grade performance of business students. Research in Higher Education Journal, 8 http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/10498.pdf.

Kraushaar, J. M. and Novak, D. C. (2010). Examining the affects of student multitasking with laptops during lecture. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21 (2), 241-251.

Bowman, L. L., Levine, L. E., Waite, B. M. and Dendron, M. (2010). Can students really multitask? An experimental study of instant messaging while reading. Computers & Education, 54, 927-931.

Barak, L. (2012). Multitasking in the university classroom. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,6 (2) http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/v6n2.html.

Fried, C. B. (2008). In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning. Computers and Education, 50 (3), 906-914.

The full post at Faculty Focus is available here.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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