Mobile Phone Behavior in the College Classroom: Effects on Student Learning and Implications for Students and Teachers

Mobile Phone Behavior in the College Classroom: Effects on Student Learning and Implications for Students and Teachers

Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff (Miami University Middletown, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch054


This article provides a background on research in the communication discipline that examines mobile phone behavior in the college classroom, particularly the relationship between student texting and student learning. Thus far, scholars have found that using mobile phones during class lecture (i.e., texting or checking social network sites) has a negative impact on student learning and a negative impact on student note taking. In addition, this article highlights leading communication scholars who have conducted research in this area and the implications these findings have for both students and teachers.
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In the communication discipline, mobile phone behavior in the college classroom has only recently been an area that has received scholarly attention. The earliest research in the discipline typically focused on perceptions of this behavior; with additional studies examining self-report data, and the most recent research has begun to use experimental design to measure the direct effects of mobile phone behaviors on student learning. Dr. Campbell (2006), at the University of Michigan, was perhaps one of the first communication scholars to publish a study that focused exclusively on mobile phones in the college classroom. Other scholars have also contributed to this line of inquiry. Specifically, Dr.’s Wei, Wang, and Klausner (2012), at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford, examined the effect of student mobile phone usage on student learning. Although Wei et al. were some of the first scholars to examine this effect, their study relied on self-report data and measured perceived cognitive learning and did not measure actual cognitive learning.

Two of the current leaders in this area of research are Dr.’s Kuznekoff and Titsworth (2013), respectively from Miami University Middletown and Ohio University. They developed one of, if not the, first experimental study in communication to examine mobile phone usage during class lecture and the effect this behavior has on cognitive learning and student notetaking. Related to this research, Dr.’s Rosen, Carrier, and Cheever (2013), all from California State University Dominguez Hills, are prominent scholars in task-switching and multi-tasking in the classroom as it relates to student learning.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Phone Behaviors In the College Classroom: Any instructional or non-instructional use of a mobile phone or mobile device in a college classroom by students or instructors.

Notetaking: The process of encoding information in written form for the purpose of recall or review at a later point in time.

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