Guilt Is Not Enough to Stop Students From Texting in Class

A survey of students at the University of New Hampshire found high rates of texting during class, and plenty of guilt about the behavior.

The survey, of 1,000 students at the university, found that a majority felt guilty about about sending text messages in class when they were not supposed to. Despite those feelings, 80 percent of the students said they normally send at least one text message in each of their classes. Business students conducted the survey for a marketing-research course.

Chuck Martin, an adjunct professor in the business school who teaches the course, says the students expected to find that most students would, like them, want to be allowed to text during class.

But views among surveyed students were actually mixed, with 40 percent of students in favor of allowing texts, 37 percent opposed, and the rest neutral.

The survey also showed that women were more likely to send text messages than men and that texting in class distracted students from class material.

Students did exploratory research before the survey to help them formulate questions, and they will present their findings at the university’s undergraduate research conference in late April. The survey results, a news release about their project, and any articles covering its findings (including this one), will be included in each student’s portfolio.

“The idea is for students to see what it takes to do an entire study,” Mr. Martin says.

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