Personal Technology in the Classroom

Evaluating Student Learning, Attention, and Satisfaction


  • Christina Long Iluzada Baylor University
  • Robin L. Wakefield Baylor University
  • Allison M. Alford Baylor University



classroom environment, cognitive learning, course satisfaction, personal-technology-use policy, sustained attention


College instructors desiring classrooms free from learning distractions often enforce personal-technology-use policies to create what they think is an optimal learning environment, but students tend not to favor restrictive personal technology policies. Which type of personal technology classroom environment maximizes student satisfaction, learning, and attention? We surveyed 280 business communications students in two types of classrooms: a personal technology-restricted environment and a free-use environment. We evaluated student perceptions of cognitive learning, sustained attention, and satisfaction with the course as well as the technology policy governing their classrooms. Students believed they achieved greater cognitive learning in non-restricted personal technology classrooms and perceived no significant difference in sustained attention. Although students may be more satisfied with a free personal-technology-use policy in the classroom, overall satisfaction with the course did not significantly differ according to the classroom environment. We discuss the importance of sustained attention and policy satisfaction for enhancing student course satisfaction in classrooms with both technology policy types.