ASIS&T 2005 START ConferenceManager    

Interrupted Cognition in an Undergraduate Programming Course

Wijekumar, K. & Meidinger, P.

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


Computer and Information Science courses are frequently taught in networked computer laboratories where students have access to advanced development environments, connectivity, communications, and multi-media capabilities. Advanced connectivity and communications can have positive or negative effects on learning. One cause for concern can be interruptions from emails, cell phones, and instant messages. This paper presents a theoretical foundation for Technology Interrupted Cognitive processes with examples of how learners’ cognitive schemas maybe positively or negatively affected by the interruptions specifically from instant messages. The paper also presents findings from a research study to document the frequency and prevalence of instant messaging use by students. Results document the approaches that the students participating in the study use and how their cognitive structures are affected by instant messaging interruptions. Finally the paper also recommends guidelines for reducing the negative effects of interruptions on cognitive processes.

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