There's no denying that in 2019 we are living in a culture where human beings are enclosed and absorbed by technology — a digital culture. Will this newly introduced technology, specifically mobile phone usage and social media engagement, significantly impact how students learn during class lectures? This is the question that Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff and Scott Titsworth poses in the article “The Impact of Mobile Phone Usage on Student Learning. Their study considers whether social media/texting will have negative influence on students’ in-class note-taking behaviour and subsequent performance during exams.
Participants in this study were American university students, aged 18-22, with the accessibility to a mobile phone, and enrolled in one of several communication programs courses.The design used in this study called for randomly splitting participants into three groups: a control group (group 1), who listened to a class lecture and took notes, and two groups who listened, took notes, and engaged in stimulated texting/posting (group 2 and 3).
The experiment occurred in a simulated classroom setting, monitored by a researcher, where all the participants were required to watch a lecture, take notes, and answer exam questions concerning lecture content. However, group 2 and 3 undertook an additional step, requiring them to engage with stimulated texting/social media during the lecture. They were instructed to take out their mobile phones and open their web browser that provided a link to an online survey. After students pressed continue, the survey would automatically present them with stimulated texts/posts following a predetermined schedule. During this time, students were instructed to listen to the lecture and take notes simultaneously. Students in the low distraction condition (group 2), were given a new stimulated text approximately every 60 seconds. The high distraction group (group 3), received a stimulated text/post every 30 seconds. Following the lecture, students were allowed 3 minutes to go over their notes before taking two exams regarding the lecture content that would test their memory. Once the test was complete, students were instructed to put their answers in an envelope and return it to the researcher. The results indicate there is a significant negative relationship between texting/posting and test performance.
The goal of Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff and Scott Titsworth's study was to determine the influence student texting/posting during class lecture has on their learning abilities. The results determined that the students who were habitually using their mobile phone during a lecture scored lower on tests than those students who were not using their phones.