2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Classroom Multitasking: Effects on Comprehension, Retention, and Confidence
Frankie J. Bruning*, Joy C. Bulen, David G. Carrell, and Elizabeth A. Necka
Dr. Robert Tigner, Faculty Mentor

Most learning environments house considerable opportunity for multitasking. College students in particular may participate in activities that differentially affect their acquisition and retention of important academic information. Past research found that multitasking compromised the quality of learning (Grohol, 2008). However, doodling, which we attempted to replicate through constructive note-taking, has been found to increase recall (Maron, 2009). To test the effects of multitasking, subjects were presented with four narrated PowerPoint lectures, and participated in four multitasking conditions: paying attention, note taking, using Facebook, and instant messaging. A multiple-choice test was administered after the lectures to test acquisition and confidence. A similar test was administered a week later to assess retention. The implications of this study are pertinent to modern students given the frequency of multitasking behavior in classrooms. Results lend insight into potential positive and negative effects of specific and popular multitasking behaviors.

Keywords: multitasking, Facebook, retention, comprehension, classroom distractions

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 9-3
Location: MG 1000
Time: 8:30

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