Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Maintaining focused attention in the classroom is considered an important factor for successful learning. Loss of instructional time due to off-task behavior is recognized as a significant challenge by both researchers and practitioners. However, there has been little research into the factors contributing to off-task behavior. This paper reports results from the first large-scale study investigating how elementary school children allocate their attention in classroom environments and how patterns of attention allocation change as a function of gender, grade level, and instructional format. The findings indicate that instructional format is related to off-task behavior in elementary school students. These findings can begin to form a foundation for development of research-based guidelines for instructional design aimed to optimize focused attention in classroom settings.

Included in

Psychology Commons



Published In

M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, and I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2428-2433.