• Competing for Students' Attention in the Age of Distraction: A Discussion

      Fertig, Jason
      Topic/Problem Statement: As educators, we want our students to learn complex formulas, read challenging pieces of literature, and perhaps perform some academic research (Rousseau, 2006). Yet, can students who are quite addicted to smartphones perform deep work or are they stuck in a life of shallowness (Newport, 2016)? Evidence suggests that prolonged smartphone use robs students of the willpower necessary to perform the cognitively demanding tasks we ask of them (Baumeister and Tierney, 2012). Hence, in this session I aim (1) to present data on internet addiction, (2) to have the audience share their feelings on whether smartphones have changed students, and (3) stimulate interest in a work group dedicated to researching internet addiction and disseminating strategies for combating it. Context: I assume that there is a chance that while you are reviewing this submission, you have looked at your phone at least once and have multiple browser windows open. That is also how our students operate in class – and we cannot solve it by just telling students to put their phones away. Such short-term solutions do not produce long-term results. Students need to become aware of how their attention is diverted and their willpower is depleted. Approach: Given only 20 minutes, I aim to build an awareness of this issue through presenting some selected research on what smartphone use is doing to students. I also aim to report results of an internet fast assignment that my students performed. Ideally, I would also like to recruit a group of colleagues interested in working on this issue with me. Discussion: I use 2012 as a proxy for “when things changed in the classroom.†The iPhone was released in 2007, but around 2012, every student came to class with a device more powerful than the spaceship that went to the moon. Before 2012, when I entered the classroom, students were talking to each other. After 2012, most of them were face down in a screen until class started. Before 2012, I could engage a classroom in a period-long discussion. After 2012, they stopped responding and I had to alter my pedagogy to get them to respond (I posed a question, had them write “minute papers,†then asked what they wrote). I assume that I am not the only person seeing this phenomenon. Thanks for your time. References: Baumeister, R. F., & Tierney, J. (2012). Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength. Penguin. Newport, C. (2016). Deep Work: Rules for Focus Success in a Distracted World. Grand Central Publishing. Rousseau, D. M. (2006). Is there such a thing as evidence-based management?. Academy of management review, 31(2), 256-269.
    • This is Jeopardy!

      Ward, Zack
      Topic/Problem Statement Keeping students interest in class can be challenging. Therefore, its incumbent upon us as educators to find unique and creative ways to deliver course material. Delivering course material in the form of a game, in the classroom setting, is a great way to engage students. Students typically display a high interest in games (Siko, Barbour, & Toker, n.d.) and playing games in the classroom enhances students critical thinking skills and stimulates their interest (Chow, Woodford, & Maes, 2011). In this presentation, I'll discuss how using a game (in this case, Jeopardy) in the classroom leads to an enjoyable time for both students and the instructor. Context UNIV 101 serves as an introductory success course for incoming freshman at the University of Southern Indiana. In this course, students are introduced to a variety of topics related to the university and the particular college which their major belongs. Given that UNIV 101 is taken during the students first semester in college, new freshman students are understandably adjusting and acclimating to the all-encompassing college life. This provides a great time for faculty to introduce college in a fun and creative way while also assessing how much information students have retained from the course. Approach During one of the class sessions, as a way to assess how much the students had learned from UNIV 101 of both health profession topics and university centric topics, a Jeopardy game was devised using Microsoft PowerPoint. Great care was used to model the game as much as possible to the real game. For example, an introductory Jeopardy slide played the introduction music, five categories were used during game play and a final Jeopardy round including the widely known theme music was incorporated into the game. Given that there were 24 students in the class, students were placed into three groups These three groups worked collaboratively within their group to answer the questions. Instead of a buzzer which participants use to indicate they know the answer, students raised their hand. The game itself was displayed on a white dry erase board via a projector. This allowed the instructor to x out questions with a dry erase marker after they had been selected (to prevent re-selection of a question). Reflection/ Lessons Learned Students appreciated the format of the game and became very competitive during play, which spoke to their high level of comprehension of the information discussed in the course. The students also worked very well within their groups while trying to answer the questions. This speaks to the level of cohesion and collaboration group games can bring to the classroom. Freshman come to the university not knowing many of their fellow classmates. Playing group games in the classroom allow students to meet and interact with each other. By building relationships with other students, a students ability to be successful in college greatly increases. References Chow, A. F., Woodford, K. C., & Maes, J. (2011). Deal or No Deal: Using games to improve student learning, retention and decision-making. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 42(2), 259264. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2010.519796 Siko, J. P., Barbour, M. K., & Toker, S. (n.d.). Beyond Jeopardy and Lectures: Using Microsoft PowerPoint as a Game Tool to Teach Science. 19.