Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘multitasking’

When do we choose to monotask rather than multitask?

Dario D. Salvucci and Peter Bogunovich (2010) Multitasking and Monotasking: The Effects of Mental Workload on Deferred Task Interruptions, CHI 2010: Multitasking

Recent research has found that forced interruptions at points of higher mental workload are more disruptive than at points of lower workload. This paper investigates a complementary idea: when users experience deferrable interruptions at points of higher workload, they may tend to defer processing of the interruption until times of lower workload. In an experiment, users performed a mail-browser primary task while being occasionally interrupted by a secondary chat task, evenly distributed between points of higher and lower workload. Analysis showed that 94% of the time, users switched to the interrupting task during periods of lower workload, versus only 6% during periods of higher workload. The results suggest that when interruptions can be deferred, users have a strong tendency to “monotask” until primary-task mental workload has been minimized.

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Why Do We Keep Interrupting Ourselves? Observation of multitasking in context

Laura Dabbish, Gloria Mark, Victor Gonzalez (2011) Why Do I Keep Interrupting Myself?: Environment, Habit and Self-Interruption, Association for Computing Machinery — May 7, 2011

Self-interruptions account for a significant portion of task switching in information-centric work contexts. However, most of the research to date has focused on understanding, analyzing and designing for external interruptions. The causes of self-interruptions are not well understood. In this paper we present an analysis of 889 hours of observed task switching behavior from 36 individuals across three high technology information work organizations. Our analysis suggests that self-interruption is a function of organizational environment and individual differences, but also external interruptions experienced. We find that people in open office environments interrupt themselves at a higher rate. We also find that people are significantly more likely to interrupt themselves to return to solitary work associated with central working spheres, suggesting that self interruption occurs largely as a function of prospective memory events. The research presented contributes substantially to our understanding of attention and multitasking in context.

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What is the relationship between multitasking and academic performance?

Reynol Junco, Shelia R. Cotten (2012) No A 4 U: The relationship between multitasking and academic performance, Computers & Education 59 (2012) 505–514

The proliferation and ease of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as Facebook, text messaging, and instant messaging has resulted in ICT users being presented with more real-time streaming data than ever before. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in individuals increasingly engaging in multitasking as an information management strategy. The purpose of this study was to examine how college students multitask with ICTs and to determine the impacts of this multitasking on their college grade point average (GPA). Using web survey data from a large sample of college students at one university (N ¼ 1839), we found that students reported spending a large amount of time using ICTs on a daily basis. Students reported frequently searching for content not related to courses, using Facebook, emailing, talking on their cell phones, and texting while doing schoolwork. Hierarchical (blocked) linear regression analyses revealed that using Facebook and texting while doing schoolwork were negatively associated with overall college GPA. Engaging in Facebook use or texting while trying to complete schoolwork may tax students’ capacity for cognitive processing and preclude deeper learning. Our research indicates that the type and purpose of ICT use matters in terms of the educational impacts of multitasking.

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Is multitasking of technology a support or a distraction to learning?

Ajao, Peter Olayinka Oluwasegun (2012)  Multitasking-Impact of ICT on learning, Case Study (LUAS), Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Degree programme in Business Information Technology

The purpose of this paper is to use a questionnaire/survey, interview, and observations, and a test to examine how multitasking using various technologies impact or affects students. Multitasking of technology becomes a distraction when it is not managed well, such as when multitasking is heavily done, it leads to ineffectiveness, inefficiency, and affect productivity because the brain is subject to many things. Heavy multitasking is reported to cause even stress to the multitasker. In the case of students, more mental work is required since there is divided attention and concentration. So, it is possible that the education productivity goes on the dwindling side. On the other hand, multitasking that is done moderately, and that is controlled, is seen as a support.

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