Surprise! Texting and Web Surfing Affects Learning

Here is the concluding quote from a recent study by Kuznekoff and Titsworth on the use of texting and social media posts by students in the classroom:

". . . students who use their mobile phones during class lectures tend to write down less information, recall less information, and perform worse on a multiple-choice test than those students who abstain from using their mobile phones during class." Cited from,  J. H. Kuznekoff and S. Titsworth,"The Impact of Mobile Phone Usage on Student Learning." Communication Education, 62.3 (2013): 233-252 at 251.

Not any surprise here. This is also why texting and driving are illegal in most places.

Some further illuminating quotes from the study are as follows:

"The practical implication stemming from the tests surrounding hypothesis 2 is that students who were actively texting/posting simply recalled less information than students who were not texting/posting. Specifically, students in the control group scored 36% higher than the group with low rates of texting/posting and 51% higher than the group with high rates of texting/posting" (p. 247).

"From a purely physical standpoint, texting impedes notetaking. Cognitively, as students engage in dialogue with others through texts/posts, they will likely be less capable of adequately processing information, taking notes on that information, and recalling information during assessment opportunities" (p. 247).

"Compared to those students who do not text/post, when students engage in these behaviors they will potentially record 38% fewer details in their notes, score 51% lower on free-recall tests, and 20% lower on multiple-choice texts" (p. 248).

"Because students were able to recall some aspects of the details, a lack of attention cannot be the only explanation--texting/posting must also impact how students process information after the information has passed through their attention filters" (p. 249).

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