Peers and Instructors as Sources of Distraction from a Cognitive Load Perspective

Brandi N Frisby, Benson Sexton, Marjorie Buckner, Anna-Carrie Beck, Renee Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Framed by literature regarding classroom interactions that affect students' cognitive processing, this study provided an integrative approach to understanding distracting instructor and student communication. Participants qualitatively reported on either a distracting peer (n = 90) or instructor (n = 127). The responses were coded using anti-citizenship behaviors and instructor misbehaviors. One additional category emerged that extends the instructor misbehavior literature. Participants completed a new distraction scale and a cognitive load scale. Our results revealed differences in frequencies for each behavior, but all instructor and student behaviors were equally distracting and had similar negative influences on students' cognitive load. Implications for instructors to manage these distracting behaviors are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 24 2018


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