The myth of multitasking

Yes, cellphones and laptops do affect students’ grades, and no, students can’t multitask as well as they say they can.

Arnold Glass, a psychology professor at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, and Mengxue Kang, a graduate student, recently published a study in Educational Psychology that they say reveals a causal link between cellphone and laptop use during class and poorer exam scores.

Glass has been teaching for over 40 years and has been proactive about bringing new technology into the classroom. He’s noticed changes in his students’ behavior as they’ve become more used to the technology, and some of those changes are for the worse.

“For about five or six years, [student] performance was getting better and better,” he said. “But because I was attuned to this, and because I was collecting an enormous amount of data, I was immediately aware when things started changing. Students started ignoring me — they used to not ignore me.”

[ Read the full article at Inside Higher Ed. ]

 For more information on using technologies in your classes, contact the University Center for Teaching and Learning’s Teaching Support unit.