Netflix and study: Why online students are more easily distracted

For all the praise of online classrooms and how they could replace physical spaces, the latter still triumphs in at least one aspect: ensuring students focus on the academic subject taught.Researchers have found, unsurprisingly, that students in online courses are often multitasking with non-academic matters – that refers to time spent on Facebook, browsing on Asos and scrolling Twitter timelines – more than their peers in physical classrooms. Sampling nearly 300 Kent State students enrolled in both online and on-campus courses, Andrew Lepp and his team found that students are 25 percent more likely to multitask in non-academic work when enrolled in online courses compared to their peers in face-to-face courses.Students with higher multitasking tendencies (ie. those with high scores on the Polychronic-Monochronic Tendency Scale) are more likely to multitask in online classes. While many might assume they would be similarly distracted in actual brick and mortar classrooms, the study found otherwise.

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