TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, October 21, 2013

86% of Students Text in Class

2LInside Higher Ed:  Texting in Class:

If you are leading a class and imagine that students seem more distracted than ever by their digital devices, it's not your imagination. And they aren't just checking their e-mail a single time.

A new study has found that more than 90 percent of students admit to using their devices for non-class activities during class times. Less than 8 percent said that they never do so.

The study is based on a survey of 777 students at six colleges and universities. Barney McCoy, associate professor of broadcasting at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, conducted the study and The Journal of Media Education has just published the results. Most of the students were undergraduates, and graduate students were less likely to use their devices for non-class purposes. Undergraduates reporting using their devices for non-class purposes 11 times a day, on average, compared to 4 times a day for graduate students.

Here is the study's breakdown on the proportion of students admitting to different levels of in-class device use:

Frequency of Student Device Use in Class for Non-Class Purposes, Per Day

Never 8%
1-3 times 35%
4-10 times 27%
11-30 times 16%
More than 30 times 15%

Asked why they were using their devices in class, the top answer was texting (86 percent), followed by checking the time (79 percent). e-mail (68 percent), social networking (66 percent), web surfing (38 percent) and games (8 percent).

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Curse you autocorrect....

Posted by: JRBProf | Oct 21, 2013 1:30:40 PM

LOL! Is that a real text or did you pay someone for it? Nice touch.

Posted by: Darryll Jones | Oct 21, 2013 2:38:53 PM

Funny stuff aside, isn't there a reason to be concerned if college students nowadays lack the self-discipline and attention span to shut off their digital toys for 55 or 80 minutes, as the case may be, in order to pay attention to what the professor might teach them?

Posted by: Jake | Oct 21, 2013 5:23:12 PM