Digital Distraction: Shedding Light on the 21st-Century College Classroom:
It is not uncommon to walk into a college classroom and find all heads bowed down to a flashing screen and the room . . . silent. While digital devices can certainly support learning, what about when they are a distraction? This study explored this 21st-century phenomenon from two perspectives: Does the use of a device for nonacademic purposes during a learning activity interfere with learning? Does the classroom policy about digital device use play a role?A total of 351 college students from 20 classes participated in this study. Short-term retention was checked: A video on educationally relevant material was shown followed by a brief quiz on that material. The results are informative for both factors—multitasking and policy effectiveness.