June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Computers in Education
23.1093.1 - 23.1093.14
Student Attention in Unstructured-Use, Computer-Infused ClassroomsThe number of computer-infused classrooms is increasing due to an increasing number ofengineering programs requiring students to purchase personal computers. Typically,there are two types of computer-infused classrooms. In the structured-use paradigm,computers are integrated into instructional activities in a meaningful and deliberatemanner and every student is required to bring a computer to class. In the unstructured-use paradigm, instructors may use computers for lecture delivery, but student computeruse is neither directed nor required. In past research, the structured-use paradigm hasbeen related to increased student attitudes and successful behaviors that support learning.Despite this finding, unstructured-use continues to be common in classrooms because ofthe time requirements for learning instructional technology and modifying lectures.One possible explanation for the difference in learning between structured-use andunstructured-use computer-infused classrooms is that structured-use encourages studentattentiveness. Distraction and inattentiveness are significant concerns for educators asattention is a fundamental requirement for learning.In order to gain an understanding of student attention in unstructured-use classrooms, theauthors collected data in a computer-infused statics course (~300 seats) and a dynamicscourse (~100 seats), both of which have unstructured computer usage. The authors useda software tool to automatically capture, in real-time, data related to the students’computer’s top-most, “active” window. The authors also conducted in-class observationsof student computer-use to validate the use of using the captured active window data as aproxy for attention in unstructured-use classrooms. Attention patterns are reported forboth the qualitative naturalistic observations and the quantitative active-windowmeasurements. The data are compared to previously collected data from structured-useclassrooms. Differences and similarities between student-attention in structured-use andunstructured-use computer-infused classrooms are discussed.The findings can be used as empirical evidence to encourage instructors to incorporatestructured computer-use into their pedagogical practice.
Mohammadi-Aragh, M. J., & Williams, C. B. (2013, June), Student Attention in Unstructured-Use, Computer-Infused Classrooms Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22478
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