Rutgers University Study Shows Link Between In-Class Device Use and Poorer Test Performance

Do laptops and mobile devices help students in the classroom, or distract them?

Reported by Inside Higher Ed, a recent study from Rutgers University was published in Educational Psychology, revealing a causal link between cellphone and laptop use during class and poorer exam scores.

Testing student performance against themselves, 118 students were split into two groups given on- and off-days for when they could use technology in the classroom, and exam scores were shown to be poorer for students on the material covered on device-approved days.

The takeaway? Technology can absolutely serve as a learning aid. It is also absolutely distracting our students. Therefore, when considering device policies for our institutions and individual courses, we need to understand the pros and cons these technologies provide.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.