College Students’ Multitasking Behavior in Online versus Face-to-Face Courses
Presented by Andrew Lepp, Ph.D.
This study compared college students’ multitasking in online courses with their multitasking in face-to-face courses; and explored the significance of potential predictors of multitasking in each setting. Methods: Students taking both online and face-to-face courses completed surveys assessing multitasking in each setting, self-efficacy for self-regulated learning (SE:SRL), internet addiction, multitasking tendency, age, and sex. Results: Multitasking was significantly greater in online than face-to-face courses. Internet addiction was positively associated with multitasking in online and face-to-face courses. Multitasking tendency was positively and age was negatively associated with multitasking during online courses only; SE:SRL was negatively associated with multitasking during face-to-face courses only. Conclusions: Multitasking was greatest during online courses. Furthermore, there were different sets of predictors for students’ multitasking in online courses compared to face-to-face courses. This suggests that multitasking in online and face-to-face courses are dissimilar phenomena and may require different strategies for minimizing multitasking during instruction. Implications are discussed.