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In search of lost time


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This paper presents research on the amount of time students spend studying, the impact that time spent studying has on exam performance and the reasons why students are investing less time than ever before on their education

Published in: Education
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In search of lost time

  1. 1. In search of lost time: invest investigating the temporality of student engagement, the role of learning technologies, and implications for student performance Córais Faisnéise Bainistíochta Scoil Ghnó Lochlann Uí Chuinn An Coláiste Ollscoile, BÁC 4 Éire Niamh O Riordan Management Information Systems School of Business University College Dublin, Dublin 4 Ireland
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Motivation 2. Background 3. Research design 4. Findings 5. Discussion and future directions
  3. 3. 1. Motivation Student engagement • Is as much about time as it is about effort • Is diminishing for a variety of reasons • Is linked to student performance • Is an under-researched phenomenon Our objective was to investigate college students’ time use, to identify the factors that affect it and to assess its impact on exam performance
  4. 4. 2. Background • Student engagement is defined as the time and effort students invest in educational activities (Kuh, 2009) • We know that – Students’ study time is decreasing (Mortenson, 2011; Babcock and Marks, 2010; Young, 2002) – Students are struggling to manage their time effectively (Yorke and Longden, 2007) and are experiencing increased time pressure (van der Meer et al., 2010) – Time spent studying (George et al., 2008) and time management skills (Krause and Coates, 2008) are significant predictors of academic success • But knowledge of the relationship between students’ study time, perhaps the most basic input in the education process, and student learning remains “virtually non-existent” (Nonis and Hudson, 2010; Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner, 2004).
  5. 5. 3. Research Design • Grounded theory approach – A systematic, empirically driven approach – Used to generate theory inductively – Typically applied to interview data – But may begin with data of any kind (cf. Hallberg, 2006) • Applied to found practitioner texts* • To generate an analytical framework • Which was used to ‘read’ the academic literature * Two forum discussions on the Babcock and Marks (2010) paper over 8,000 words long
  6. 6. 4. Findings
  7. 7. Core phenomenon: college students’ time use • (Reduced) time spend • The changing nature of work
  8. 8. Consequences • Skill acquisition • Exam performance
  9. 9. Factors Student factors • Incentives and motivations • Attitudes and abilities • Financial pressures • Work and family commitments • Student body composition Technology factors • Enabling effects • Distracting effects Institutional norms and practices • Consumerisation of education • Extracurricularisation of activities • Grading practices and inflation • Lecturers’ working conditions • Reduced access to resources • Unclear expectations These days pretty much anyone who wants to go [to college can get in somewhere Jolly, S1 As a current college student, I often wonder what people did with their free time and/or to procrastinate before the invention of the Internet and television. I mean, I suppose “we did our work” is an answer, but I mean….that can’t be right, can it? Colin, S1 Lower grading standards lead to less studying. They also lead students to give better course evaluations Michael Bishop, S3
  10. 10. Contextual issues • Which course? • In which discipline? • In which faculty/college/school? • What academic level? • Historical, social, political, economic and cultural context
  11. 11. 5. Discussion and future directions • There is a pressing need to know (a lot) more about how college students are spending their time • Future studies are also needed to better understand the impact of college students’ time use on both exam performance and skill acquisition • Going forward, there is a need for future research that also addresses the interplay between student-related, institutional and technological factors • But as educators control the technologies that are used to support teaching and learning, our next steps will focus on probing the impact of specific technologies on college students’ study time. • Finally, our analysis identified several important contextual factors that should be brought to bear in any future research on college students’ study time
  12. 12. THANK YOU Dr Niamh ‘Neve’ O Riordan University College Dublin, Ireland.