This research-based presentation reports on the issue of student distraction and disruption in online versus physical classrooms at university level. It is hoped that it will provide useful insights to teachers based on actual student feedback. The research was conducted by using a Student Disruption and Distraction (SDD) Questionnaire which garnered responses from 50 students across two undergraduate General English Seminar (GES) classes. The SDD Questionnaire examined the intensity of frequency for both disruption and distraction as well as the main causes for each. In this way the study draws a distinction between perceptions of external disturbance factors and perceptions of self-distraction. The content of the SDD questions was derived from synthesising discussions in the literature regarding technology, the educational consequences of distraction in class and common external disturbance factors. Frequency and intensity questions were integrated throughout the quesitonnaire to allow for an insight into how often and to what extent disruption and distraction were occurring. The SDD response data was processed and analyzed to construct charts to represent categorical and percentage data. The results indicate that online lessons present disturbance problems arising from partner unpreparedness, students becoming distracted by mobile phones/personal devices and gaming. Results regarding the physical classroom lessons showed that students were less distracted but more likely to being disturbed by proximate factors, such as other students arriving late or talking. The presentation will also offer some pedagogic strategies which are targeted to resolve the main problems in online and physical classroom environments.
John Guy Perrem, Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan