What Students Do While You Are Teaching – Computer and Smartphone Use in Class and Its Implication on Learning

Ochs, Carli; Sonderegger, Andreas (2021). What Students Do While You Are Teaching – Computer and Smartphone Use in Class and Its Implication on Learning In: Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2021. INTERACT 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Vol. 12933 (pp. 501-520). Cham: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-030-85616-8_29

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The presence of mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets and computers) in the classroom gives students the possibility of doing off-task activities during lectures. The purpose of this mixed-method field study was to learn more about students' behaviors, reasons, and opinions regarding such activities and their consequences on learning. This study is one of few to take a holistic view on this topic by taking the use of all technical devices in class into account and assessing its con-sequences on learning objectively. This is important to gain a full picture concerning the conse-quences of off-task activities in class. Right after a lecture, bachelor students (N = 125) answered a survey containing questions on their usage of mobile devices during this last class. Further-more, they took a test on the content of that lecture. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of data revealed that students spent an average of more than 19% of their time using a digital device for non-class purposes. Interestingly, this was not significantly linked with learning, although many students reported being aware of this behavior's potential negative consequences. But there was a significant negative link between the number of received notifications and learning. These results suggest that external interruptions have a stronger negative effect than internal interruptions, allowing us to make better recommendations on how to use electronic devices in the classroom.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


Business School > Institute for New Work
Business School > Institute for New Work > New Forms of Work and Organisation
Business School


Ochs, Carli and
Sonderegger, Andreas0000-0003-0054-0544


B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science




Lecture Notes in Computer Science


Springer International Publishing




Andreas Sonderegger

Date Deposited:

13 Sep 2021 15:15

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2023 02:30

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Digital Distractions, Academic performance, Notifications





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