Event Title

Laptops in the Classroom: Evaluating the Potential Benefits of Technology Against Distractions

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 1:00 PM

End Date

9-4-2012 2:30 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Karla Lassonde

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Students in college face a decision of bringing a notebook with them to a lecture or to use a laptop for taking notes. Many students opt to bring their laptop with them to class lectures, but there are teachers that oppose laptop use in the classroom. Laptop use in classrooms has sparked a debate in the teaching community about the advantages and disadvantages (e.g., distractions) of using laptops in the classroom. To shed light on the possible utility of laptops in the classroom, the goal of the study was to determine if there is a difference in text comprehension when participants write text content on paper or if they type it on a computer.

Participants read two short passages of informative text. As they read, participants copied the passages either onto a notepad by writing, or by typing on a computer. After copying the passages, they were asked a series of comprehension questions pertaining to the passage. The participants were also given the Gates-MacGinitie (4th ed.) reading skill test and a short typing assessment. We found no reliable differences on the comprehension questions between the writing and typing conditions. This outcome does not indicate a bias for one method of copying text over the other. We are currently working on a second study that follows the same procedure except participants are asked to take notes either on paper or a computer. This method is likely to more authentically represent note-taking students do while reading a text or in lecture.

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM Apr 9th, 2:30 PM

Laptops in the Classroom: Evaluating the Potential Benefits of Technology Against Distractions

CSU Ballroom

Students in college face a decision of bringing a notebook with them to a lecture or to use a laptop for taking notes. Many students opt to bring their laptop with them to class lectures, but there are teachers that oppose laptop use in the classroom. Laptop use in classrooms has sparked a debate in the teaching community about the advantages and disadvantages (e.g., distractions) of using laptops in the classroom. To shed light on the possible utility of laptops in the classroom, the goal of the study was to determine if there is a difference in text comprehension when participants write text content on paper or if they type it on a computer.

Participants read two short passages of informative text. As they read, participants copied the passages either onto a notepad by writing, or by typing on a computer. After copying the passages, they were asked a series of comprehension questions pertaining to the passage. The participants were also given the Gates-MacGinitie (4th ed.) reading skill test and a short typing assessment. We found no reliable differences on the comprehension questions between the writing and typing conditions. This outcome does not indicate a bias for one method of copying text over the other. We are currently working on a second study that follows the same procedure except participants are asked to take notes either on paper or a computer. This method is likely to more authentically represent note-taking students do while reading a text or in lecture.

Recommended Citation

Block, Britten; Ryan Meyer; Maria Almoite; and Kayla Scott. "Laptops in the Classroom: Evaluating the Potential Benefits of Technology Against Distractions." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-B/45