SCSU study shows faculty contribute to smartphone distraction in the classroom

(WTNH) — Smartphones can often be seen as a distraction in the classroom. According to a new study by SCSU, students aren’t the only ones to blame.

Associate Professor of Communications Meg Sargent and Professor of Communications Bonnie Farley-Lucas coordinated a study conducted by SCSU students in 2011 that found one of the top student complaints about faculty (at 11 different colleges and universities in CT) was faculty cell phone use during class.

Nearly 1 in 4 students found this to be a problem. This knowledge is ironic given that faculty often complain about students using their phones while a teacher is teaching. This same study found that 90 percent of students reported that faculty generally are very likely to have a classroom cell phone policy.

Students perceived faculty use of cell phones a problem for the following reasons:

– Disrupted class by leaving to take calls/check and respond to texts.
– Interrupted learning, especially when cell phones went off during exams, student presentations, etc.
– Students felt disrespected, especially if faculty are not abiding by their own cell phone policy.
– Violation of personal boundaries. Students often overhear faculty members’ personal information, or faculty will share reasons for their need to take the call.

Meg says 90 percent of students report that faculty generally are very likely to have a cell phone policy. But nearly half of students say a classroom cell phone policy is unreasonable.

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