Effects of Text Messaging on Academic Performance

Amanda Barks, H. Russell Searight, Susan Ratwik
Lake Superior State University, USA

Abstract

University students frequently send and receive cellular phone text messages during classroom instruction. Cognitive psychology research indicates that multi-tasking is frequently associated with performance cost. However, university students often have considerable experience with electronic multi-tasking and may believe that they can devote necessary attention to a classroom lecture while sending and receiving text messages. In the current study, university students who used text messaging were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: 1. a group that sent and received text messages during a lecture or, 2. a group that did not engage in text messaging during the lecture. Participants who engaged in text messaging demonstrated significantly poorer performance on a test covering lecture content compared with the group that did not send and receive text messages. Participants exhibiting higher levels of text messaging skill had significantly lower test scores than participants who were less proficient at text messaging. It is hypothesized that in terms of retention of lecture material, more frequent task shifting by  hose with greater text messaging proficiency contributed to poorer performance. Overall, the findings do not support the view, held by many university students, that this form of multitasking has little effect on the acquisition of lecture content. Results provide empirical support for teachers and professors who ban text messaging in the classroom. Lasīt vairāk "Effects of Text Messaging on Academic Performance"