Students want interactive teachers to keep them off tech

TORONTO: Students feel it is the professors’ responsibility to ensure they do not surf the web or use social media in classrooms, a study suggests.
For the study, published in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, researchers surveyed 478 undergraduates and 36 instructors on their perception of technology use in class.
“While students felt that it was their choice to use the technology, they saw it as the instructors’ responsibility to motivate them not to use it,” said Elena Neiterman, Professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
“Some students said that instructors need to be more entertaining to keep students engaged in the classroom, but this is a big task, given that we are not employed in the entertainment industry,” she said.
Nine per cent of the students found course materials on other’s laptop as distracting while 49 per cent found non-course materials on others screens were distracting them.
During the study, instructors saw technology as useful for providing accessible education, but it was also distracting for them — 68 per cent were bothered by the use of phones in the classroom.
Only 32 per cent were bothered by the use of laptops and tablets, probably because they assume that laptops and tablets are used by students for class work.
Some instructors also reported that off-task technology not only affected student learning but also hindered their own ability to teach effectively. But a majority of the instructors
feel that banning technology in class is not an answer. — IANS