Use of Visual Prompts as a Pedagogical Strategy to Reduce Digital Distraction in College Classes

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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

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Teaching, Learning, and Education Leadership

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Technology is recognized as a valuable learning tool, but research indicates that students are also distracted by the use of technology in class. Since college students constantly rely on their devices for learning, it has become imperative for instructors to find effective ways of integrating technology into their lessons while reducing digital distractions. In this study, we investigated the effects of behavior strategies related to in-class device usage among undergraduate students. Students were provided with visual prompts corresponding to various class activities to direct their use of devices in class. At the end of the semester, we surveyed the students about their perspectives on the visual prompts strategy for device usage. The majority of students found value in the use of technology devices in class for their learning (efficient work, notetaking, concentration) and indicated overall positive effects of the visual prompts strategy. For successful technology integration in college classrooms, instructors should consider using strategies such as visual prompts to enhance students’ learning experience and reduce digital distraction.

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