2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Can You Facebook in Class and Still Learn?
Rachel R. Horsch*, Elizabeth A. Necka, and Mallory C. Stites
Dr. Robert Tigner, Faculty Mentor

Multitasking during lectures in computer classrooms is a common behavior of college students, but little data exists on the effects it has on comprehension and retention of classroom material. In this study, participants watched a series of news videos while simultaneously either engaging in Facebook, playing computer-based card games, or paying full attention. Subjects participated in each condition. A quiz over the material in the videos was administered at the end of the session and a second quiz was completed a week later. The experiment tested the hypothesis that participants would show poorer recall of the material while they were multitasking than the material they fully attended to. This effect was hypothesized to be seen on both quizzes, with a more pronounced difference after a week's delay. Within the multitasking conditions, the Facebook condition, a language-based task, was hypothesized to produce poorer recall than the card games, a visual task.

Keywords: Multitasking, Classroom, Comprehension, Retention


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 18-3
Location: VH 1010
Time: 10:15

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