Discipline-Based Education Research Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Abstract for DBER Group Discussion on 2016-04-21


Copyright © 2016 Douglas Duncan


Some technology increases student learning, some decreases it. I will show evidence of both and discuss what makes the difference. Approximately 70% of college students now text during class, and no faculty member we studied saw even as much as half of the texting that occurred. Is there any viable way to stop this? What should instructors do about the use of laptops in class?

The second part of the talk will address the uses of confusion, presenting interesting data showing the type of confusion that leads to increased student learning. Part of the discussion will be how demos – beloved by chemistry, physics, and other science teachers – have minimal effect on student learning.