The New In-class Texting Policy I Authored

The following policy is going in my future syllabi:

Cell Phone Use Makes You the King/Queen of the Class

Overwhelmingly, communication and education scholars have shown that using cell phone technology in class interferes with learning (Williams, et al., 2011), promotes incivility (Schroeder & Robertson, 2008), is disruptive, and results in increased errors and decreased academic performance (Monk, et al., 2008)

Once class starts, you may not use your cell phone. If I see you using your phone, you will become the “King (or Queen) of the Class.” One space at the front of the room will be reserved for the King/Queen of the class. If I see somebody using a phone in class, I’ll ask him/her to sit in the royal seat and wear the royal crown. For the rest of the period, the King/Queen will regularly be called on to answer questions that I would normally direct to the entire class. After all, people who text during class must already be so comfortable with the material that they have the luxury to disengage in lecture and discussion. They are, in a manner of speaking, the “King” or “Queen” of the class. If the King/Queen fails to correctly answer three questions, he or she will be asked to leave for the rest of the period. Once asked to leave, the student forfeits his or her attendance and quiz credit for the day.

Monk, C. A., Trafton, J. G., & Boehm-Davis, D. A. (2008). The effect of interruption duration and demand on resuming suspended goals.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14, 299-313.

Schroeder, J. L., & Robertson, H. (2008). Civility in the college classroom. Association for Psychological Science Observer, 21. Retrieved April 18, 2012 fromhttp://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2008/november-08/civility-in-the-college-classroom.html

Williams, J. A., Berg, H., Gerber, H., Miller, M., Cox D., Votteler, N., Carwile, D., & McGuire, M. (2011). “I get distracted by their being distracted”: The etiquette of in-class texting. Eastern Educational Journal, 40, 48-66.

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