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This exam consisted of multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay questions. Students had 210 minutes to complete. All were required to use a computer to complete the exam, and the software program automatically graded the multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Then, with those results in hand, professors manually scored all essay responses. All but 15 students in our sample sat for the final exam, which was worth 25 percent of a students final grade. Professors warned their students at the beginning of the semester that a failing grade on the final exam could constitute grounds for failing the entire course, regardless of marks earned on other assignments.

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The third group allowed technology, with restrictions. This tablet-only group was designed to replicate the intended use of Internet-enabled technology as a pet non-distracting resource during class. In those sections, laptops were not permitted, but students could use ipad tablet computers so long as they remained flat, with the screen facing up and parallel to the desk surface. This modified tablet usage enabled students to take notes on the tablet or access their e-text or other class materials while allowing professors to observe and address student use of distracting applications. We cannot, however, be sure holi that students only used their tablets for class-specific purposes. For example, it is possible that instructors did not observe their students using ipad applications such as imessage or other communication tools or games. Roughly 80 percent of students in classrooms that permitted laptops and tablets without restriction used an Internet-connected device during class, but only 40 percent of students in tablet-only classrooms used a device. We randomly assigned sections to one of the three groups in a way that ensured each professor taught at least one section in the technology-free group and at least one section in either of the other groups. We limited our sample to students who took the class as sophomores and excluded students enrolled in classrooms of professors who chose not to participate in the experiment. Our final sample consisted of 50 classrooms and 726 students over the two terms. Our primary outcome is student performance on the mandatory, high-stakes final exam for the course.

In a setting where students were less motivated or there was less discipline, we might expect any distracting aspects of technology to be even more pronounced. Sample and Design, we conducted our experiment during the spring semester of the 201415 academic year and the fall semester of the 201516 academic year. Each term, we randomly assigned participating sections of the Principles of Economics course into one of three groups. The first group was technology-free, with students barred from using laptops or tablets at their desks. The second group was intended to replicate the typical collegiate classroom environment, with students using Internet-enabled technology at will during lecture and discussion. In those classrooms, students were permitted to use write laptops and tablets in the class. Ideally, students would use them for note-taking or referencing material, such as the e-text version of the textbook, although professors had limited ability to monitor every students computer. Professors did have discretion to stop a student from using a computing device if the student was blatantly distracted from the class discussion.

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Third, within a given time slot, students are randomly assigned to their particular class. West point centrally generates student academic schedules, and students cannot request a specific professor. Most importantly, prior to the first day of class, students are unaware of the computer policy of a particular class, and there is virtually no switching after the first day. Fourth, all students at West point are on equal footing in terms of access to educational resources: all students must purchase the same laptop computers and ipad tablets, and all academic buildings have wireless Internet access. Students also complete an introductory write computer science class their freshman year prior to taking Principles of Economics. Further, west point uses class rankings to assign each student to a military occupation and a specific military base following graduation. A student, therefore, is especially motivated to have a high gpa so that he or she can have a better chance of receiving a preferred occupation or location. Finally, classes are well-structured: a student who falls asleep in class, arrives late, or is otherwise disruptive may be reported to the military officer who is in charge of—among other things—disciplining the student. Cell phones are not permitted in any class, making laptops and ipads the most common Internet-connecting devices available to students.

We chose to focus our study on one of these classes: Principles of Economics. Some 450 sophomores enroll in the class each semester, but individual section (or classroom) sizes are low due to an institutional commitment that caps the faculty-to-student ratio at 1:18 per class. Class sizes in our study were typically around 15 students. West point professors also do not have teaching assistants, so all grading and interaction is done between the student and the professor. Additionally, all students are required to attend class unless they have an excused absence, so we were not concerned that attendance is affected by class-level technology policies. Second, despite the large enrollment and small class size, student assessment in Principles of Economics is highly standardized. All classes use the same syllabus and students complete the same homework and tests. This allows us to compare grades between classes.

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We find that allowing any computer usage in the classroom—even with strict limitations—reduces students average final-exam performance by roughly one-fifth of a standard deviation. This effect is as large as the average difference in exam scores for two students whose cumulative gpas at the start of the semester differ.17 grade points on a standard.0 scale. Importantly, these results are from a highly competitive institution where student grades directly influence employment opportunities at graduation—in other words, a school where the incentives to pay attention in class are especially high. We believe our findings raise important questions for colleges and college students about the impact of using Internet-enabled devices during class and may have implications for K12 educators as well. An Experiment at West point, the United States Military Academy is a four-year undergraduate institution with an enrollment of approximately 4,400 students.

West points student body is unique, due primarily to the institutions mission of generating military officers and attendant admissions requirements, including a recommendation from a local congressional representative. Students receive the equivalent of a full-ride scholarship; however, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the. Army and incur an eight-year service obligation with a five-year active-duty requirement. Comparing the student population at West point with that at other four-year institutions reveals broad similarities, aside from a major difference in the proportion of female students. At West point, only 17 percent of students are female compared to more than 50 percent of students at other four-year schools nationwide, on average (see figure 1). West point provides an ideal environment for conducting a randomized controlled classroom experiment about Internet-connected computer usage for a number of reasons. First, as part of their core curriculum, students are required to take several classes in sequence, resulting in high enrollment numbers.

Or should they ban screens altogether and embrace an unplugged approach? The right way forward is unclear, especially at colleges that pride themselves on connectivity. The vast majority of students carry laptops or tablets from class to class to take notes, consult references, collaborate with professors and classmates—and to update social-media sites, order takeout, and watch videos during lectures. The personal computer is a powerful tool. It can efficiently store and enhance student work; it can also effectively transport a students attention away from that work.


Not surprisingly, some professors have banned computers from class. But research shows many remain conflicted about their value: in a 2014 survey by richard Patterson  and Robert Patterson of 90 professors at a liberal-arts school, 57 percent agreed that laptops enhanced learning, but 42 percent thought laptops decreased participation. Two-thirds of professors in a slightly larger survey from the same school had laptop-optional policies, and one in five required them for class. Although students overwhelmingly like to use their devices, a growing research base finds little evidence of positive effects and plenty of indications of potential harm. To determine the impact of laptop usage on student performance, we conducted a randomized controlled trial among undergraduate students at the United States Military Academy, widely known by the name of its location in West point, new York. In the study, we designated who was allowed to use and who was prohibited from using laptops or tablets to take notes in class.

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Please let us know if you notice anything wrong and we'll degenerative do our best to get it fixed right away. Hardware services, help Desk repair provides hardware and connectivity services for current students, and active or retired faculty and staff. No-charge services: perform inspections, set up wireless, install vpn software. Payment Services: install operating systems, virus/spyware scanning and removal, data recovery services. Laptop computers have become commonplace in K12 and college classrooms. With that, educators now face a critical decision. Should they embrace computers and put technology at the center of their instruction? Should they allow students to decide for themselves whether to use computers during class?

essay professors review

Some beginning writers think the present tense makes for more exciting reading. Youll see this is a fallacy if you pay attention to how many suspenseful novels are written in past tense). To write a compare and contrast essay, start by choosing 2 subjects to compare, profit like a film and the book it's based on or 2 different animals. Then, think about how your subjects are similar and different and outline what you come up with. Once you're ready to write your essay, present a specific similarity or difference at the beginning of each paragraph and go on to explain why it's important. Try to come up with an overall theme or argument that you can refer to in each paragraph to tie everything together and make your essay more meaningful. Did this summary help you? Skip to content, is there anything wrong with this page? Help us improve peterson's, your feedback is very important in helping us improve the peterson's website.

struck me: my brother had gotten big. Leave websters out of it, unless youre using a word like prink (primp) or demotic (popular) or couloir (deep gorge you can assume your reader knows the definition of the words youve written. Youre better off not starting your essay with According to websters Dictionary. Many essays start with a" from another writer. When you have a limited amount of space, you dont want to give precious real estate to someone elses words. When writing about past events, the present tense doesnt allow for reflection. All you can do is tell the story. This happens, then this happens, then this happens.

Instead, look at times youve struggled or, even better, failed. Failure dillard is essayistic gold. Figure out what youve learned. Be honest and say the hardest things you can. And remember those exhausted admissions officers sitting around a table in the winter. Jolt them out of their sugar coma and give them something to be excited about. Repeating the prompt, admissions officers know whats on their applications.

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Another guy wrote about making kimchi with his mom. They would go into the garage and for talk, really talk: Once my mom said to me in a thick korean accent, every time you have sex, i want you to make sure and use a condo. I instantly burst into laughter and said, mom, that could get kind of expensive! . A girl wrote about her feminist mothers decision to get breast implants. A car, kimchi, moms upsizing — the writers used these objects as vehicles to get at what they had come to say. They allowed the writer to explore the real subject: This is who. Dont brag about your achievements.


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  1. Susan payne carter, assistant professor of economics at the United States Military Academy, joined EdNext editor-in-chief Marty west on the EdNext Podcast to discuss this study. Laptop computers have become commonplace in K12 and college classrooms. With that, educators now face a critical.

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