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Study Finds Classroom Devices Lower Exam Results

Study Finds Classroom Devices Lower Exam Results

Researchers at a top US university have found classroom computer/iPad and mobile use ‘substantially harms’ student results.

A recent study by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology  (MIT) found that students who did not use computers and hand held devices during class performed better in their exams.

“The results from our randomised experiment suggest that computer devices have a substantial negative effect on academic performance,” said a spokesperson.

“Our results indicate that students perform worse when personal computing technology is available. It is quite possible that these harmful effects could be magnified in settings outside of West Point,” (the school where the study was carried out), the researchers said.

The Guardian notes the study involved 726 students who worked in three groups. The first was ‘technology free,’ the second permitted unlimited technology use while the third group had restricted device use.

Given the study took place at West Point, a Military School well-known for its rigorous ranking of students by exam results, researchers go on to warn of the potential further disadvantages of classroom device use in a less competitive and academically rigorous setting.

“In a learning environment with lower incentives for performance, fewer disciplinary restrictions on distracting behaviour, and larger class sizes, the effects of internet-enabled technology on achievement may be larger due to professors’ decreased ability to monitor and correct irrelevant usage.”


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