Poll: Do you pay attention during online classes?


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A young woman taking notes while on her computer during an online class.

By Angelina Padilla-Tompkins, Senior Opinion Columnist

Since the shutdown of the COVID-19 pandemic students have grown accustomed to taking courses from the comfort of their rooms. While the ability to attend classes might be easier online, are students actually paying attention? 

A study of 253 university students, published on ResearchGate, reported roughly 80% of college students admitting that they only pay attention sometimes, but for the most part, they don’t. 

It can be extremely easy to zone out while staring at 20 random faces on your screen, or maybe you even fall asleep in the warmth of your bed. 

Perhaps you might be one of the many students who use that time into a study hall, and focus on coursework for other classes. You’re on your computer anyway right? 

Many professors discourage students using their phones in class as it can be a distraction. However, when the class is online there is no way for professors to regulate whether a student is replying to a text, scrolling through social media, or listening to music. 

Long lectures can be hard to sit through, so the temptation of the small rectangular computer in your pocket can be overwhelming. Of course, you might rather be feeding your addiction to social media, watching Netflix or messaging friends. 

Hopefully, you are one of the rare students who focus on the material being discussed in class. However, it can be extremely difficult to force yourself to pay attention during an online class. 

If you are someone who struggles, try sticking to a designated area for class. For example, never lay in bed while you’re “in class,” instead sit up straight at a desk or table. 

Additionally, minimize your temptations. Try putting your phone on silent and across the room, don’t eat while in class and take notes. Taking notes is a great way to force yourself to pay attention to a lecture and help you remember the material later. 

Do you pay attention during online classes?


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