Thursday, May 5, 2011


By Joe Testolin
In a recent survey of 1,043 college students at the University of New Hampshire, almost half said they feel guilty about texting during class when it's not allowed. Even so, texting is quite common: 65 percent said they send at least one text message during a typical class.

After reading this stunning survey Monmouth College's own journalism class decide to conduct a survey of their own to get professor's opinions on texting in their classrooms.

This survey required students to contact professors by phone using numbers selected at random. The survey offered 43 professors five possible solutions to state what their feelings were towards texting in their classrooms. Of those surveyed, 58 percent of professors said that texting wasn't a problem.

Of that 58 percent, a third of professors said they would not impose any restrictions on students texting in class. A quarter said that texting was not a problem in their class. While texting is not a problem for the majority of professors, 42 percent still saw it as an issue.

Of those that indicated that texting was a problem, 19 percent said they would permit students to leave electronic devices turned on, but require them to leave the classroom if they are seen texting, 16 percent would require students to turn off electronic devices when they enter a classroom, and 7 percent would permit students to leave electronic devices turned on but reduce a portion of their grade if they are found texting.

In another recent survey from the American Life Project found that 64% of teens with cell phones have texted in class; 25% have made or received a call during class time.

After being informed of the two surveys about the students texting in class, Monmouth College Professor Dr. Lee MaGaan found the results confusing of Monmouth's very own survey.

“If I was asked two years ago this question, I would say that texting wasn't a problem in the classroom.” said MaGaan. “But I feel that is a growing problem and I found it difficult to understand how most of the professors at the college didn't feel that there was a problem. Having a cell phone in the classroom causes problems when the students should be participating and listening in class discussions but are instead texting. This upsets the environment of the whole class and hurts the students. Those students who are eager to participate in discussions and the teachers who are teaching are being distracted by watching students’ send text messages and surfing the web on their phones.”