An Examination of Laptop-Based Off-Task Behaviors in Secondary School Classrooms
The use of laptops is prevalent in secondary school education, however, limited research has been conducted in this domain. The purpose of this study was to examine secondary school students’ off-task behaviors in laptop-based classrooms. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 224 secondary school students. Key areas investigated were frequency of on-task behavior, type of off-task behavior, and the influences of subject area, instructional method and gender. Almost 80% of students reported being on-task with their laptops most of the time in the classroom. Key off-tasks behaviors included emailing, surfing the web and, to a lesser extent, using social media. Students engaged in off-task behavior most when they were involved in independent work and least during student presentations. Female students engaged in on-task behaviors significantly more than male students. Finally, students offered suggestions for maximizing learning benefits when using laptops.