Found Wisdom: Detrimental effects of laptop multitasking on classroom learning

Proportion correct on the comprehension test as a function of condition (multitasking vs. no multitasking). Multitasking lowered test performance by 11%, p
Effects of multitasking on comprehension of lecture material

‌Faculty are increasingly concerned as students' use of laptops and smartphones in the classroom becomes more commonplace.  A new study in Computers and Education finds that comprehension    of lecture material is impeded when students multitask on a laptop or when students are seated    near other students who are multitasking on a laptop.  The authors caution faculty from imposing a complete ban on laptops or other technology in the classroom and offer suggestions for faculty on situations where laptop use aids learning (e.g., notetaking) and how to address appropriate use in the classroom.


Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. (2103). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education, 62, 24-31.

Article FAQ: which addresses faculty questions such as:

  • I am a teacher concerned about the issue of laptop multitasking. Should I prohibit my students from using their laptops during class time?
  • Smartphones are ubiquitous among students and they offer the same distractions as laptops. What are your recommendations in terms of cell phone use and learning?
  • My students have access to computer tablets to complete some of their assignments. Based on your findings, is technology-enriched learning a step in the wrong direction?

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