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The purpose behind the study was to identify how internet usage (whether considered to be academic or nonacademic) affects a student’s performance in a classroom. There has been a long-lasting debate over use of technology in classrooms due to students’ tendency to turn the tool intended for learning into a distraction when boredom ensues. Because of this, the author hypothesizes that there will be a relationship between academic performance and whether students use the internet during class for academic or nonacademic purposes.
The results of the study indicated an inverse relationship between academic performance and use of the internet for nonacademic purposes.
The initial population size was 507 students in the entire psychology class however, the sample size ended up consisting of just 84 participants. Though the sample size seems small, the researcher indicated that the percentage makeup of freshmen, sophomore, juniors, and senior were similar to the general population being studied (the psychology class of 507 students), which helps for generalization purposes.
The study used a reliable measure of a computer proxy server to keep track of websites used and amount of time spent on them. The method seems to be unrealistic in its expectation that students will remember or want to keep logging into the proxy every time they come into class. It doesn’t seem to take into account that complexity is a deciding factor in whether participants will want to participate in a study and how often attrition will take place.
The researchers concluded that the participants spent an average of 37 minutes of class time using the internet for nonacademic purposes. Majority of the time was spent on social media sites, while other times were shared between emails, shopping, watching videos and so forth. The researcher’s hypothesis was supported by their results. The researchers stated having a positive correlation in terms of time spent online and the number of requests made. These results may be represented to be biased as they failed to include the information from all 84 participants. The researchers concluded that those who logged into the session less than half the time were not used while doing their analysis.
This study discusses a relevant topic about how classroom performance may be affected by the use of internet. The study focused on how students use their internet when talking about academic and nonacademic purposes. The study did have a few limitations while being conducted, which may have caused the results appear to be biased. One limitation was the level of difficulty students faced when needing to use the proxy server. By needing a username to login, this may have created some problems for those students who did not want to go through the experiment. Additionally, the study did not take into account those students who could possible use their smartphones or tablets until later on in the study. The study would have had more reliable results if they took into account the complexity of the server and other sources that may have been used during class times.
Despite these limitations, the study design did include strengths. For example, the make-up of the sample in the study reflected the make-up of the entire psychology class. The study had similar representative sizes for the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The equal representative allowed for accurate results in terms of each classification. Additionally, the study also took into account how the students thought they were affected by their internet usage.
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