DIGITAL DEVICE USE IN THE UNDERGRADUATE CHEMISTRY CLASSROOM
Meghan Belmares, Alexander Ollerton, Brandon Cruickshank, Jennifer Duis.
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.
Digital devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) and their use are increasingly commonplace in colleges today, whether for personal or course-related efforts. Research has suggested that class time use of digital devices negatively affects grades, but little is known about the impact of instructors’ or students’ attempts to control the use of digital devices during class. The influence of a number of factors will be evaluated by this research including upper (physical and analytical chemistry) and lower (general and organic) level courses, instructor, syllabus policies, and classroom management styles. These factors will be used to examine differences in self-reported classroom digital device use, correlations between frequency of use and grade, and student perceptions. Current data was collected anonymously and voluntarily from students via surveys in 15 different course sections with 11 different instructors in the spring of 2015. Spring 2014 survey results did not show a negative correlation between the frequency of use and course grade despite fall-2013 work in general chemistry that had paralleled other authors’ reports. Also, a vast majority of students believe that digital device use does not impact their grade in the course. Further investigation will go into the students’ interest in the class, the seating arrangement within the classroom, and self-reported perceptions of distraction to other students.