What Keeps a Student’s Attention in College

Teachers have always thought it was the beginning of class in which students are the most focused, but new studies are showing that's just not the case. The first 15 minutes of class are actually the most distracting, according to a study by Kennesaw State University. To understand students better, eight were chosen to be fitted with eye-tracking glasses that showed how students delegated their attention and the study shows, it's not so linear. One of the ways that can keep a student's attention is dependent solely on where a student sits in the classroom. Those kids in the back are not as attentive as those who are in the front.

Professors have to deal with plenty of issues when trying to get full, undivided attention from students, fighting with cell phones, smart devices and social media, just teach a lesson. However, there are steps that educators are taking to make sure that students stay focused and refocus if they've lost track.

"When the professor became very animated, drew something on the board, injected humor or if he was using analogies that were not listed in the power point slides then the students tended to watch them," stated the authors of the study.

In addition, students also paid more attention when professors went over answers from a quiz or introduced a new piece of information or shared videos with the classroom. However, one action that professors take that is a bad idea is to offer notes before the start of the class. This immediately led to students paying less attention in class as they already had the notes, so what did it matter to look up at the board?

Students are also learning ways to stay on track. One of them is to simply not bring your cell phone to class or turn it off as soon as you enter the room. Students are also using devices to record and keep better track of notes so that they don't miss any information from lectures. However, this practice can often lead to more distractions. The best way is for teachers to engage students in discussion and lead animated lectures that test student's knowledge and also have them interacting with other students.

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