Study finds use of computers by students in lectures và seminars has ‘substantial negative effect’ on performance


Allowing students lớn use computers & the internet in classrooms substantially harms their results, a study has found.

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The paper published by the Massachusetts Institute of technology found that students barred from using laptops or digital devices in lectures và seminars did better in their exams than those allowed to use computers and access the internet.

The researchers suggested that removing laptops & iPads from classes was the equivalent of improving the quality of teaching.

The study divided 726 undergraduates randomly into three groups in the 2014-15 và 2015-16 academic years. The control group’s classrooms were “technology-free,” meaning students were not allowed to lớn use laptops or tablets at their desk. Another group was allowed lớn use computers và other devices, & the third group had restricted access to lớn tablets.

“The results from our randomised experiment suggest that computer devices have a substantial negative effect on academic performance,” the researchers concluded, suggesting that the distraction of an electronic device complete with mạng internet access outweighed their use for note-taking or research during lessons.

The research had an unusual twist: the students involved were studying at the West Point academy in the US, where cadets are ruthlessly ranked by exam results, meaning they were motivated to lớn perform well and may have been more disciplined than typical undergraduates.

But even for the cream of the US army’s future crop, the lure of the digital world appears to have been too much, và exam performance after a full course of studying economics was lower among those in classes allowed lớn use devices.

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“Our results indicate that students perform worse when personal computing giải pháp công nghệ is available. It is quite possible that these harmful effects could be magnified in settings outside of West Point,” the researchers concluded.

“In a learning environment with lower incentives for performance, fewer disciplinary restrictions on distracting behaviour, & larger class sizes, the effects of internet-enabled giải pháp công nghệ on achievement may be larger due to lớn professors’ decreased ability lớn monitor và correct irrelevant usage.”

Tom Bennett, founder of the ResearchED education group, who is leading a UK government-commissioned reviews of điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh use in classrooms, noted the research found that even the brightest students appeared to be distracted by the presence of digital devices, in contrast khổng lồ previous studies.

“Of course, nothing about this is conclusive and it needs to be read in the context of the undergraduate experience, but there are some interesting reflective points for all educators. Vì you need khổng lồ use tablets? How do you compensate for the possibility of distraction?” Bennett said.

Research published last year by the London School of Economics found that banning smartphone phones affected school pupils according lớn their ability. “Banning điện thoại phones improves outcomes for the low-achieving students … và has no significant impact on high-achievers,” it concluded.

The new research is distinctive because it analysed the results of students in classroom conditions rather than as part of an artificial experiment.

“In contrast lớn the laboratory-style research, our study measures the cumulative effects of internet-enabled classroom giải pháp công nghệ over the course of a semester, as opposed lớn its impact on immediate or short-term recall of knowledge,” the researchers said.

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“We want lớn be clear that we cannot relate our results to lớn a class where the máy tính or tablet is used deliberately in classroom instruction, as these exercises may boost a student’s ability khổng lồ retain the material,” they added.

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