Ubiquitous laptop use in higher education: Multitasking and students’ perception of distraction in a European setting

Manuel Goyanes, Daniel Catalán-Matamoros


The present study was conducted in a European setting to examine what undergraduate students do on their laptops during a traditional class and to what extent laptop usage behaviors are associated with academic success, along with social networking use and laptop use as distractions. Based on a survey of 200 Spanish graduate students from a public university, the study led to four conclusions: 1) the most prevalent laptop use during class time was for academic purposes; 2) the perception of computer use during class time as a distraction was a significant and positive predictor of academic performance; 3) all predictor variables of laptop use behavior during class time were statistically significant and were positive predictors of social networking use except for searching for complementary information; and 4) in addition to academic performance, all laptop use behavior variables were statistically significant and positive predictors of laptop as a distraction tool, except for taking notes. Theoretical, academic and implications for practice are discussed.


multitasking; academic success; social networking; laptop use; distraction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i10.7268

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