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Managing in-lecture media use: the feasibility and value of a split-class policy

  • Douglas A. ParryEmail author
  • Daniel B. le Roux
  • Laurenz A. Cornelissen
Article

Abstract

High levels of digital media use have become a feature of university lectures. While certainly capable of supporting learning outcomes, studies indicate that, when media use is off-task, it presents as a disruption, distracting both users and those around them from academic tasks. In this study an exploratory, mixed-methods assessment of a media use policy for a semester-long course is presented. This policy divided the lecture theatre into two sections, one for those who wished to use digital devices and one for those who did not. Such a policy empowered students to leverage the value of media, if desired, while affording those who wished not to use media, or be disrupted by their peers’ use of media, a degree of protection from distracting cues. Findings indicate that those who consistently selected the same side performed better than those who moved from side to side. Two post-course focus groups revealed that, while having some limitations, the policy was well received by the participants and heightened their awareness of the possible distractions of off-task media use, enabling them to identify and maintain a strategy for their in-lecture attentional allocation and behaviour.

Keywords

In-lecture media use Technology in the classroom Technology and learning BYOD policy Higher education 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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