We have all been there, sitting in a lecture hall surrounded by 300 other students and the professor just seems so far away. Their voice is just getting impossible to listen to and then it happens you feel the buzz. What do you do? Do you reach in your pocket and grab your phone? Do you ignore it? From my experience I would guess that around 80% of us would reach for that phone. We all know it is a mistake. We know it is trap, but we do it anyway. This blog is going to explore just how detrimental this mistake is to our grades.
Of the numerous studies I found on the internet, the one I found most powerful was a study done by the University of Colorado. The reason I like this study the best is that it was done in 2012, which to put into context was right around the time of the iPhone 4s and the beginning of the 5. A time that, I would say, was about the time that smart phones became commonplace among students. With that in mind we must assume that over the last four years the problem has grown, due to the huge advancements in cell phones and their distracting powers.
The study focuses on 8 different non-required introductory classes (much like SIOW) over the course of two semesters. In the first semester the study focused on computer use in class, while the second semester courses focused on cell phone use. This study used anonymous surveys to allow for students to self-report cell phone use. In these classes 75% of students reported cell phone use. What comes next is what I believe to be the most staggering number. The average grade difference between a cell phone user and a non cell phone user is a whooping .38 ± .08. To put that in context, phones can potentially drop a whole letter grade from a GPA. We must ask ourselves next time is that one text really worth this price? To make matters worse the study did not stop there, but also studied the effects of phone and computer use on classmates. The study found that the use of a phone distracts 32% of the class and the use of a computer distracts 46% of the class.
In conclusion, I do not believe that checking the text or snapchat is worth the penalty it has on academic performance, particularly because each course we take costs a staggering $4,400 for an out of state student like myself. If this is not enough to curb the temptation of the buzz think of the other people in the class that are affected. Resist the buzz!
(P.S. I am very guilty of all of this)
Duncan, Douglas K., Angel R. Hoekstra, and Bethany R. Wilcox. “Digital Devices, Distraction, and Student Performance: Does In-Class Cell Phone Use Reduce Learning?” Astronomy Education Review (2012): n. pag. 31 July 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.