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The surprising impact of seat location on student performance

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Abstract

Every physics instructor knows that the most engaged and successful students tend to sit at the front of the class and the weakest students tend to sit at the back. However, it is normally assumed that this is merely an indication of the respcccive seat location preferences of weaker and stronger students. Here we present evidence suggesting that in fact this may be mixing up the cause and effect. It may be that the seat selection itself contributes to whether the student does well or poorly, rather than the other way around. While a number of studies have looked at the effect of seat location on students, the results are often inconclusivc, and few, if any, have studied the effects in college classrooins with randomly assigned seats. © 2008 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.

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... To try to get at this issue directly, Perkins and Wieman [10] assigned students randomly to a seat location in the first half of a physics course and switched the seating locations in the second half of the term, such that those in the front were seated in the back and vice versa. The seating location assigned for the first half of the term had an impact on students' success in the course, in particular when the top and bottom ends of the grade distribution were considered: students who were initially sitting closer to the front had a higher proportion of grades in the top 20% compared to the students in the back, and they had a lower proportion of grades in the bottom 10% compared to the students in the back. ...
... The implication is that seating position 'sets the tone' for a student's performance, such that being in the front is beneficial, and being in the back is detrimental, and once established, this cannot be undone in the classroom. However, in an attempt to replicate the results of Perkins and Wieman [10], Kalinowski and Taper [11] found no difference in course performance based on assigned seating location. Similarly, Meeks et al. [12] attempted to replicate the findings of Perkins and Wieman [10], but found that student performance was not significantly altered by assigned seating location over a ten-year longitudinal study. ...
... However, in an attempt to replicate the results of Perkins and Wieman [10], Kalinowski and Taper [11] found no difference in course performance based on assigned seating location. Similarly, Meeks et al. [12] attempted to replicate the findings of Perkins and Wieman [10], but found that student performance was not significantly altered by assigned seating location over a ten-year longitudinal study. ...
Article
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A student’s ability to learn effectively in a classroom setting is subject to many factors. While some factors are difficult to regulate, this study explores two factors that a student, or instructor, has full control over, namely 1) seating position, and 2) computer usage. Both factors have been studied considerably with regard to their effects on student performance, and the results indicate that sitting further from the instructor, or using a computer in the classroom, are related to a decline in grade performance. However, it is unclear if the choice of where to sit and whether or not to use a computer in class are mediated by the same cognitive process. If they are the same, then we would expect to see an interaction between the factors, such that, for example, computer usage would most negatively impact the grades of students who sit near the back of a class. This study aims to answer this question by looking at the individual and combined effects of seating position and computer usage on classroom performance. We sampled 1364 students, collecting nearly 3000 total responses across 5 different introductory psychology courses with 4 different instructors on 3 separate occasions. In agreement with previous research, we found that sitting further from the instructor negatively impacted students' grades (0.75 percentage points/row), and using a computer in class negatively impacted grades (by 3.88 percentage points). Our novel finding is that these deleterious effects combined in an additive manner, such that using a computer had the same harmful effect on grade performance regardless of whether the student sat at the front or back of the classroom.
... Possible reasons include the belief that it is easier to see and hear the instructor; that proximity to the instructor can encourage attention , engagement, and greater participatory behavior; and that mutual favorability between the instructor and front-sitting students can develop (Meeks et al., 2013). However, findings of the effect of seating on performance are decisively mixed, with some studies finding an impact of seating proximity (e.g., sitting in the front vs. back of the room) on course grades (e.g., Benedict & Hoag, 2004; Perkins & Wieman, 2005), and others finding little or no relationship (Armstrong & Chang, 2007; Kalinowski & Taper, 2007). To the extent that there are effects of seating, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that front and center seats facilitate positive attitudes, participation and better performance. ...
... Studies since the 1990s have been mixed in their findings. Perkins and Wieman (2005) found that students randomly assigned to sit in the back of the classroom at the beginning of the year attended fewer classes and had lower test scores than those sitting in the front. Moreover, these differences persisted even when seats were reassigned halfway through the course and the same students were moved to the front. ...
... Studying students in large lecture economics courses, Benedict and Hoag (2004) found that sitting in the back of the classroom increased the probability of getting a D or F by 23%. In contrast to the study by Perkins and Wieman (2005) , however, they found that forcing students forward during the course overrode the negative effect of an initial preference for a back seat, and increased the probability of getting an A or B by 33.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Vander Schee (2011) found that seat selection had no correlation with GPA, but did predict performance in the course. ...
... The literature regarding the effect of seating location on performance is mixed. For example, Perkins and Weiman [1] found that seating impacts student performance, while Kalinowski and Taper [2] reported no relationship between the two. The research on classroom environmental factors (e.g., seating type) also shows differing results [3][4][5]. ...
... Because attention spans can be limited and because students are often overloaded and tired [2], the back row of a classroom provides a better opportunity for students to appear attentive when, in fact, they may not be listening. Perkins and Weiman [1] argued that front row seats promote more interaction with the instructor and encourage participation in the class, which leads to higher performance. Sitting closer to the instructor also makes it easier for students to see and hear the instructor. ...
... One study by Kalinowski and Taper [2] found no relationship between random seat assignments and student outcomes. However, other research by Perkins and Weiman [1] reported significantly higher performance levels for students sitting near the front of the room when seats were assigned. In a comparison study of self-selection and assigned seating, Stires [18] found no grade differences between students who chose to sit at the front of the class versus students assigned to sit up close. ...
Article
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While an extensive body of research exists regarding the delivery of course knowledge and material, much less attention has been paid to the performance effect of seating position within a classroom. Research findings are mixed as to whether students in the front row of a classroom outperform students in the back row. Another issue that has not been fully examined in higher education is the effect of environmental factors, specifically seating type, on student performance. This study examines the impact of both factors—seating location and seating type—on overall performance. Data were collected over a 10-year period from 1,138 undergraduate senior business students during their capstone course. The findings suggest that student performance is not significantly altered by seating location or seating type.
... Studies since the 1990s have been mixed in their findings. Perkins and Wieman (2005) found that students randomly assigned to sit in the back of the classroom at the beginning of the year attended fewer classes and had lower test scores than those sitting in the front. Moreover, these differences persisted even when seats were reassigned halfway through the course and the same students were moved to the front. ...
... Studying students in large lecture economics courses, Benedict and Hoag (2004) found that sitting in the back of the classroom increased the probability of getting a D or F by 23%. In contrast to the study by Perkins and Wieman (2005), however, they found that forcing students forward during the course overrode the negative effect of an initial preference for a back seat, and increased the probability of getting an A or B by 33.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Vander Schee (2011) found that seat selection had no correlation with GPA, but did predict performance in the course. ...
Conference Paper
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The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of students' seating location in a large, lecture-style university course on student engagement, attention, classroom learning experience, and course performance. Participants (N = 407) were students in two cohorts of an undergraduate financial accounting course at a large university in the United States. They participated in the Experience Sampling Method measuring their self-reported seating location, engagement, attention, and other experiential dimensions throughout the one-semester course. Results showed that students reported lower engagement, attention, and quality of classroom experience when sitting in the back of the classroom than when sitting in the middle or front. Those sitting in the back of the classroom most of the time also received lower course grades. Engagement, attention, and other experiential factors mediated the influence of seating location on course grade. Multilevel models revealed both within-student and between-student effects of seating on classroom experience.
... Hence, students who are placed in the front rows would be actually the best performers, being capable of achieving higher grades than those positioned farther back. In line with these evidences, Perkins and Wieman (2005) revealed that seating location had a noticeable impact on learning performance in a course, since students sitting in the back of the room were nearly six times as likely to receive a low grade as students who seated in the front. More recently, in a preliminary research focusing on the seating choice of small marketing courses, Vander Schee (2011) found that students in the front row did earn a significantly higher course grade than those seated in the back. ...
... Additionally, as data were collected using classes of an introductory marketing course (for students who had never had previous knowledge of the subject, as ascertained during the first lecture of each class), findings may be generalized to other classrooms and students, as in previous researches investigating the relationship between seating location and learning performance for different taught subjects (e.g., psychology and physics; cf. Brooks & Rebeta, 1991;Buckalew et al., 1986;Perkins & Wieman, 2005). ...
Article
Although there can be few doubts about the influence of the learning environment on individual behaviors, the relationship between seating location and efficacy of the learning performance has not been clarified yet. This study investigates the relationship between students' seating location in the classroom and their learning achievements in five marketing classes (N = 232) over a 5-year period, exploring the moderating role of personal traits (i.e., shyness, and nonconformity) previously neglected in past research. Results suggest that sitting in a particular row of the classroom does influence learning performance, and this relationship is moderated by the individuals' levels of shyness, but not of nonconformity. Implications for educators and marketers are discussed.
... Classroom physical setting such as arrangement of the seats and learners seating position in class are believed to have important roles in optimizing the class management [18,19]. Many studies support the fact that learning is maximized when students are seated near the teacher/instructor even though this was not all the time statistically significant [20][21][22][23][24][25]. Therefore, it can be concluded that students learn better when they are seated nearer to their teachers, even though not many research supports that. ...
Article
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Flipped classroom may overcome weaknesses of live demonstration in teaching orthodontic wire-bending. This study aims to compare the effectiveness between flipped classroom and live demonstration in transferring skills for fabricating Adams clasp. Forty third-year undergraduate dental students were assigned to two groups. The students in group LD (n = 20) attended a live demonstration while students in group FC (n = 20) attended a flipped classroom. Both groups were taught on skills to fabricate Adams clasp in a standardised way. Each student from both groups were asked to submit an Adams clasp for a blinded quality assessment by two trained and calibrated assessors using a 18-item rubric, followed by validated students' satisfaction questionnaires to evaluate their perceived satisfaction on the teaching method received. A crossover study was then conducted three weeks later where LD attended a flipped classroom while FC attended a live demonstration. Students' satisfaction questionnaires were again collected from each student for blinded analysis. Mean scores for the quality of Adams clasp were 9.775 and 9.125 for LD and FC, respectively. No significant difference was detected between the two groups. Statistically significant association was found for one statement on the questionnaire, "I found the classroom arrangements conducive for the wire-bending activity" (p = 0.010). No significant differences were found between the two groups for other statements (p > 0.05). In conclusion, within the limitations of the study, flipped classroom is equally effective as conventional live demonstration in transferring orthodontic wire-bending skills for fabrication of Adams clasp. However, students perceived the classroom arrangements during the flipped classroom significantly more conducive for teaching orthodontic wire-bending.
... Insights into the in uential role that seating arrangement can have on students' cognitive performance derived from studies investigating learning skills in association with the habitual seating location of an individual in the classroom (Marshall and Losonczy-Marshall 2010;Perkins and Wieman 2005). In one of these studies, Pichierri and Guido (2016) longitudinally followed ve marketing classes attended by young adults, exploring students' achievement in terms of grades. ...
Preprint
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To date, despite the great debate regarding the best seating arrangement for learning in classrooms, no empirical studies have examined the direct effects of different seating arrangements on children’s cognitive processes. This is particularly important nowadays that the COVID-19 measures include maintaining distance in the classroom. Aim of this study was experimentally investigating the effect of changing the seating arrangement (clusters vs. rows and columns), on logical reasoning, creativity and theory of mind, in children attending primary school. Furthermore, some individual characteristics (e.g., gender, loneliness, popularity) were analysed as potential moderators. Results on 77 participants showed that, when children were seated in rows and columns, their score in logical reasoning was globally higher. Furthermore, when seated in rows and columns, girls showed a better performance in the theory of mind, and lonelier children performed better in theory of mind and creativity. This on field experimental study suggests the importance of considering both the nature of the task and children’s individual characteristics when deciding on a seating arrangement in the classroom.
... Insights into the influential role that seating arrangement can have on students' cognitive performance derived from studies investigating learning skills in association with the habitual seating location of an individual in the classroom (Marshall & Losonczy-Marshall, 2010;Perkins & Wieman, 2005). In one of these studies, Pichierri and Guido (2016) longitudinally followed five marketing classes attended by young adults, exploring students' achievement in terms of grades. ...
Article
Full-text available
To date, despite the great debate regarding the best seating arrangement for learning in classrooms, no empirical studies have examined the direct effects of different seating arrangements on children’s cognitive processes. This is particularly important nowadays that the COVID-19 measures include maintaining distance in the classroom. Aim of this study was experimentally investigating the effect of changing the seating arrangement (clusters vs. single desks), on logical reasoning, creativity and theory of mind, in children attending primary school. Furthermore, some individual characteristics (e.g., gender, loneliness, popularity) were analysed as potential moderators. Results on 77 participants showed that, when children were seated in single desks, their score in logical reasoning was globally higher. Furthermore, when seated in single desks, girls showed a better performance in the theory of mind, and lonelier children performed better in theory ofmind and creativity. This on field experimental study suggests the importance of considering both the nature of the task and children’s individual characteristics when deciding on a seating arrangement in the classroom.
... 14 Il arrive que l'enseignant utilise le placement des élèves dans la classe pour contrôler leurs comportements (Rißler, Bossen, & Blasse, 2014). Ce placement a une incidence sur leurs performances (Brooks, 2011(Brooks, , 2012Perkins et Wieman, 2005) et sur leurs comportements . L'engagement des élèves dans la tâche est différent selon leur disposition et selon que la tâche est individuelle ou collaborative (Wannarka & Ruhl, 2008 ;. ...
... It follows that research on the configuration of learning spaces tends to agree that the distance relation between teacher and pupils influences the quality of interaction (Holliman & Anderson, 1986;Gump, 1987). Perkins and Weiman (2005) reveal that pupils' proximity to the teacher promotes interaction and encourages participation in the class. Indeed, sitting nearer to the teacher makes it easier for pupils to see and hear her. ...
Article
This paper presents an intervention that seeks to examine how changes to the spatial organisation of traditional classrooms affect the number of pupils able to interact with the teacher, as well as the quality of this interaction. The experimental design allows for investigation of variations between a ‘traditional’ and new classroom set-ups. This study focuses on visual relation as well as auditory interaction and pupil movement in the classroom. They are discussed in the context of four primary classroom settings in Uruguay. The method derives from a hybrid approach using photographic and video records, teacher–pupil distance information and interviews with teachers. The conclusions show that alterations to the sitting layout and proportion of the classroom space increase the number of pupils in interaction with the teacher. However, it also suggests that optimising one variable in the study compromises other variables such as possibilities of movement in the classroom. It is suggested that in order to increase the number of pupils in quality interaction with the teacher the spatial arrangement of the classroom needs to be given prominence. Ultimately, the replication of the method across a wider variety of classroom types could help teachers identify areas for early intervention and micromanagement of classrooms as well as help nurture and inform future design decisions.
... The arrangement of furniture in the classroom is an important factor in implementing educational change (Proshansky and Wolfe, 1975). For example, research has indicated that the appropriate choice of seating arrangement can be an important way to increase student participation, and it has recently been shown that there is a clear relationship between students' seat locations and their grades ( Benedict and Hoag, 2004;Perkins and Wieman, 2005;Edwards, 2000). ...
... On one hand, it is argued that most engaged and successful pupils tend to sit at the front with weak and problem-behavior learners sitting at the back (see for example Kaya & Burgess, 2007). On the other hand, other studies show that even with random assignment to seat location, those students in the front rows perform better than those seated at the back (see for example Perkins & Wieman, 2005). Literature on the effect of student seat location on achievement is therefore inconclusive. ...
... studies that show a clear relation between the position in the lecture hall and the final mark. Most of these studies have been done in the context of primary and secondary schools (see, e.g., [1,9], or more recently [13]), but there are also studies applied to the university with the same results [10,12,3]. ...
Conference Paper
In this article we perform a detailed statistical analysis of a large experiment that was carried out in two engineering schools at Universitat Politècnica de València. The goal of the study is to quantify how the distance of students to the professor affects their marks. In the experiment, we collected and processed data about the exact students' position in the lecture hall and in the computer lab for two academic years, their changes of position along the course, and their marks in various degrees, courses, and terms, for both lectures and practicals. Our experiments provide quantitative data that is analyzed using advanced statistical methods such as ANOVA, the TukeyHSD post-hoc test, and the Mantel test based on Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient.
... Esto resulta en cierto modo inexplicable puesto que existen estudios que muestran una clara relación entre la posición en el aula y la nota final. Muchos de estos estudios se han enfocado en primaria y secundaria (véase [Benedict y Hoag 2004;Perkins y Wieman 2005], o más recientemente [Szparagowski 2014]), pero también hay estudios centrados en la universidad que han llegado a las mismas conclusiones [Rennels y Chaudhari 1988;Silva 2010;Ganowsky 2003]. ...
Conference Paper
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Este artculo desarrolla un estudio estadstico a partir de un experimentorealizado en dos escuelas universitarias de la Universitat Politecnica deValencia. El objetivo principal del estudio es cuanticar como la distanciade los alumnos al profesor y la pizarra en el aula afecta a su rendimientoacademico. Un segundo objetivo pretende determinar si trabajar en parejao de manera individual tambien afecta al rendimiento. En el experimentohemos recogido y procesado informacion sobre la posicion exacta de cadaalumno en el aula y en el laboratorio durante dos cursos academicos.Tambien se registro cada cambio de posicion, as como sus notas en diferentesexamenes, cursos y asignaturas tanto de teora como de practicas.Nuestro experimento ha producido gran cantidad de datos que han sidoanalizados usando metodos estadsticos avanzados como ANOVA, el testHSD post-hoc de Tukey, y el test de Mantel basado en el coeciente decorrelacion producto-momento de Pearson.
... Based on the previous data from initial lectures, if a group of students have high variations in marks, it might be positive to rearrange the groups to avoid unnecessary distractions (Subban 2006). For the fixed class rooms, previous student seating data may be used to suggest new seating positions in the class for better observation of progress (Perkins and Wieman 2005). For a large classroom with multiple teaching recourses, it becomes nearly impossible to identify if a student feels anxious to ask question. ...
Article
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In this paper we report on the use of a purpose built Computer Support Collaborative learning environment designed to support lab-based CAD teaching through the monitoring of student participation and identified predictors of success. This was carried out by analysing data from the interactive learning system and correlating student behaviour with summative learning outcomes. A total of 331 undergraduate students, from eight independent groups at the University of Surrey took part in this study. The data collected included: time spent on task, class attendance; seating location; and group association. The application of ANOVA and Pearson correlation to quantized data demonstrated that certain student behaviours enhanced their learning performance. The results indicated that student achievement was positively correlated with attendance, social stability in terms of peer grouping, and time spent on task. A negative relationship was shown in student seating distance relative to the lecturer position. Linear regression was used in the final part of this study to explore the potential for embedding predictive analytics within the system to identify students at-risk of failure. The results were encouraging. They suggest that learning analytics can be used to predict student outcomes and can ensure that timely and appropriate teaching interventions can be incorporated by tutors to improve class performance.
Article
Objective: This study aimed to explore students' perceptions of flipped classroom (FC) compared to live demonstration (LD) in transferring skills of fabricating orthodontic wire components for orthodontic removable appliances. Methods: Forty third-year undergraduate dental students were randomly assigned to two groups: FC (n = 20) and LD (n = 20). Students in group FC attended FC, while students in group LD attended LD. Both groups underwent a series of standardized teaching sessions to acquire skills in fabricating six types of orthodontic wire components. Eight students (four high achievers and four low achievers) from each group were randomly selected to attend separate focus group discussion (FGD) sessions. Students' perceptions on the strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement on each teaching method were explored. Audio and video recordings of FGD were transcribed and thematically analyzed using NVivo version 12 software. Results: Promoting personalized learning, improvement in teaching efficacy, inaccuracy of three-dimensional demonstration from online video, and lack of standardization among instructors and video demonstration were among the themes identified. Similarly, lack of standardization among instructors was one of the themes identified for LD, in addition to other themes such as enabling immediate clarification and vantage point affected by seating arrangement and class size. Conclusions: In conclusion, FC outperformed LD in fostering personalized learning and improving the efficacy of physical class time. LD was more advantageous than FC in allowing immediate question and answer. However, seating arrangement and class size affected LD in contrast to FC.
Research
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Mantener un adecuado contacto ocular con los alumnos es clave para que nuestro mensaje sea atendido, generar sentimientos positivos o recabar información no verbal de los asistentes. El objetivo principal de esta investigación fue determinar hacia qué zona del aula dirige durante más tiempo su mirada el profesor diestro, mientras imparte sus sesiones de clase. También, estimar si existen diferencias significativas, en ese reparto, cuando el profesor trabaja en un tipo de escenario donde existe un pasillo central que divide el aula en dos sectores. Para ello, se analizaron las grabaciones en vídeo de 24 profesores diestros, mientras realizaban una exposición de 10 minutos en dos tipos de aula diferentes. Los resultados indicaron que en un tipo de aula, sin pasillo central entre mesas, los profesores tienden a mirar alternativamente a izquierda y derecha, prestando más atención a la izquierda y sin prestar apenas atención al centro. Por otra parte, en un aula con pasillo central entre asientos, los profesores miran más a la izquierda que a la derecha, acentuándose aún mucho más ese sesgo. Estos resultados difieren en parte de otras investigaciones anteriores, pero confirman la existencia de un sesgo en el docente que le lleva a prestar más atención a los alumnos situados a su izquierda. Los resultados también indican que dicho sesgo no es debido a la disposición de los diestros a trabajar con la pizarra, a la luz lateral que pueda entrar por las ventanas, a la ubicación de algunos elementos como el ordenador, atril o cámara de grabación, o a la diferente experiencia del profesor. Estos hallazgos permiten establecer recomendaciones a los docentes y ponentes, en general, para que realicen un reparto de mirada más adecuado cuando exponen en distintos tipos de auditorios. Maintaining adequate eye contact with the students is key for our message to be attended, generating positive feelings or collecting non-verbal information from the attendees. The main objective of this research was to determine towards which area of the classroom the right-handed teacher directs his gaze for the longest time, while teaching his class sessions. Also, to estimate if there are significant differences, in this distribution, when the teacher works in a type of setting where there is a central corridor that divides the classroom into two sectors. To do this, the video recordings of 24 right-handed teachers were analyzed, while they made a 10-minute presentation in two different types of classrooms. The results indicated that in one type of classroom, without a central aisle between tables, teachers tend to look alternately to the left and right, paying more attention to the left and hardly paying attention to the center. On the other hand, in a classroom with a central aisle between seats, teachers look more to the left than to the right, this bias being even more accentuated. These results differ in part from previous research, but confirm the existence of a bias in the teacher that leads him to pay more attention to the students to the left of him. The results also indicate that this bias is not due to the willingness of right-handed people to work with the board, to the lateral light that can enter through the windows, to the location of some elements such as the computer, lectern or recording camera, or the different experience of the teacher. These findings make it possible to establish recommendations for teachers and speakers, in general, so that they distribute their gaze more appropriately when they present in different types of auditoriums.
Experiment Findings
Mantener un adecuado contacto ocular con los alumnos es clave para que nuestro mensaje sea atendido, generar sentimientos positivos o recabar información no verbal de los asistentes. El objetivo principal de esta investigación fue determinar hacia qué zona del aula dirige durante más tiempo su mirada el profesor diestro, mientras imparte sus sesiones de clase. También, estimar si existen diferencias significativas, en ese reparto, cuando el profesor trabaja en un tipo de escenario donde existe un pasillo central que divide el aula en dos sectores. Para ello, se analizaron las grabaciones en vídeo de 24 profesores diestros, mientras realizaban una exposición de 10 minutos en dos tipos de aula diferentes. Los resultados indicaron que en un tipo de aula, sin pasillo central entre mesas, los profesores tienden a mirar alternativamente a izquierda y derecha, prestando más atención a la izquierda y sin prestar apenas atención al centro. Por otra parte, en un aula con pasillo central entre asientos, los profesores miran más a la izquierda que a la derecha, acentuándose aún mucho más ese sesgo. Estos resultados difieren en parte de otras investigaciones anteriores, pero confirman la existencia de un sesgo en el docente que le lleva a prestar más atención a los alumnos situados a su izquierda. Los resultados también indican que dicho sesgo no es debido a la disposición de los diestros a trabajar con la pizarra, a la luz lateral que pueda entrar por las ventanas, a la ubicación de algunos elementos como el ordenador, atril o cámara de grabación, o a la diferente experiencia del profesor. Estos hallazgos permiten establecer recomendaciones a los docentes y ponentes, en general, para que realicen un reparto de mirada más adecuado cuando exponen en distintos tipos de auditorios. Maintaining adequate eye contact with the students is key for our message to be attended, generating positive feelings or collecting non-verbal information from the attendees. The main objective of this research was to determine towards which area of the classroom the right-handed teacher directs his gaze for the longest time, while teaching his class sessions. Also, to estimate if there are significant differences, in this distribution, when the teacher works in a type of setting where there is a central corridor that divides the classroom into two sectors. To do this, the video recordings of 24 right-handed teachers were analyzed, while they made a 10-minute presentation in two different types of classrooms. The results indicated that in one type of classroom, without a central aisle between tables, teachers tend to look alternately to the left and right, paying more attention to the left and hardly paying attention to the center. On the other hand, in a classroom with a central aisle between seats, teachers look more to the left than to the right, this bias being even more accentuated. These results differ in part from previous research, but confirm the existence of a bias in the teacher that leads him to pay more attention to the students to the left of him. The results also indicate that this bias is not due to the willingness of right-handed people to work with the board, to the lateral light that can enter through the windows, to the location of some elements such as the computer, lectern or recording camera, or the different experience of the teacher. These findings make it possible to establish recommendations for teachers and speakers, in general, so that they distribute their gaze more appropriately when they present in different types of auditoriums.
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This study investigated what academic traits, attitudes, and habits predict individual differences in task-unrelated thought (TUT) during lectures, and whether this TUT propensity mediates associations between academic individual differences and course outcomes (final grade and situational interest evoked by material). Undergraduates (N = 851) from ten psychology classes at two US universities responded to thought probes presented during two early-course lectures; they also indicated sitting in the front, middle, or back of the classroom. At each probe, students categorized their thought content, such as indicating on-task thought or TUT. Students also completed online, academic-self-report questionnaires at the beginning of the course and a situational interest questionnaire at the end. Average TUT rate was 24% but individuals’ rates varied widely (SD = 18%). TUT rates also increased substantially from the front to back of the classroom, and modestly from the first to second half of class periods. Multiple-group analyses (with ten classroom groups) indicated that: (a) classroom media-multitasking habits, initial interest in the course topic, and everyday propensity for mind-wandering and boredom accounted for unique variance in TUT rate (beyond other predictors); (b) TUT rate accounted for unique (modest) variance in course grades and situational interest; and (c) classroom media multitasking and propensity for mind-wandering and boredom had indirect associations with course grades via TUT rate, and these predictor variables, along with initial interest, had indirect associations with end-of-term situational interest via TUT rate. Some academic traits and behaviors predict course outcomes in part because they predict off-task thought during class.
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Many universities around the world use multimedia resources in large classrooms. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is any significant influence on student academic performance due to the use of multimedia (environment and tools) and seating location. This study analyses student data on grade performance and seating location for an undergraduate course at a multimedia classroom over eight semesters. This study also analyses whether short multimedia materials attract student attention in class using a computer vision experimental setup. It has been found that there is similar performance and distraction rate of students who sit at a similar proximity to the multimedia screen. The findings of this study are valuable for academic institutions and educators to design multimedia lectures and classrooms to enhance student performance.
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