A meta-analysis of 53 studies compared classrooms that did and did not use student response systems (e.g., mobile polling, clickers), finding significant effects on learning outcomes both cognitive (e.g., measures of knowledge transfer) and non-cognitive (e.g., participation).
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Researchers found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand, likely because computers encourage verbatim transcription rather than synthesis.
Alison Simmons, Samuel H. Wolcott Professor of Philosophy, made a decision in 2012 to include a policy in all her syllabi stating that electronic devices be put away during class time.
The benefits: Without distractions, her students are more actively engaged. “Philosophical discussion is a team sport that requires refraining from conversation and activities that do not contribute to the discussion, actively listening to each other, and working with each other." Read more about Devices in the classroom? Things to consider