Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Inside Higher Ed, Professor Bans Laptops, Sees Grades Rise

We have discussed several studies that have shown the impediments to learning of using laptops in the classroom.  First, the availability of the internet tempts students to direct their attention to somewhere other than the class.  Second, studies have shown that students who take notes by hand remember more than students who use laptops.  I have observed that students who take notes by laptop sometimes treat taking notes as taking dictation rather than a method to understand.  A professor at Ohio State brings all of the above together:

Inside Higher Ed, Professor Bans Laptops, Sees Grades Rise.

"Trevon Logan, a professor of economics at Ohio State, posted on Twitter this week that he had banned all electronics from his courses, with positive results."

Logan, who enacted the ban this semester, reported that student performance had improved significantly in midterms compared with previous years. “Results were significant — average scores were about half a standard deviation higher than previous offerings,” he said.

(Scott Fruehwald

| Permalink


What made the difference in student performance in my courses has been a steady stream of graded and non-graded exercises and response-required questions during the semester. Without electronic devices, I would be compelled to return to tree-using, clutter-generating, disposal-challenging paper. The key is to get students to use their electronics in real time, so that they are focused away from distracting uses of the devices, just as in the pre-digital classroom, it was necessary to keep students from passing notes, doing crossword puzzles, and sleeping. It's a challenge of teaching very different from simply knowing the material of the course being taught.

Posted by: James Edward Maule | May 17, 2018 5:51:09 AM

Post a comment