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Running head: Attention1Multitasking and its effect of attentionRough DraftDanielle FerraroPSY-540 Cognitive Psychology
Attention2This paper looks at the effect of multitasking on a student’s attention while completing anonline course.Through the researchers observations and the increase in number of onlinecolleges, over the last few decades there has been an increase in enrollment of online collegecourses. More and more schools are offering the obtaining of Bachelors as well as Graduatedegrees all online. Course work is completed on the schedule of the student. Meaning as long asthe assignments are completed by the due date the student will get full credit. There is no classtime or face to face meetings. It is all done over email, forums, papers, and discussion boards.The question that is being raised in this paper is how multitasking effects a student’s attentionwhen completing online coursework.First, let’s define what attention is.Sternberg (2012) defines attention as an activecognitive process that filters sensory input into information, however human attention doesn’talways work correctly. Attention to a topic or topics being studies is the key to learning andsuccess. If that is interrupted by other tasks that is said to decrease your ability to learn.Multitasking is defined as “a mental state where people try to focus on multiple things”(wisegeekhealth.com), this is also known as divided attention.There are disorders that can affectone’s attention, such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). This is defined as “whenconcentration problems or failure to maintain attention occurs. ADHD can present in eitherhyperactive-impulsive, inattentive, or a combination of the two” (Stenberg, 2012, p. 163). Thisalong with multitasking can present an issue for students while completing assignments innormal physical classrooms. Now just think when one add in the variable of taking a class onlineand doing things at your own pace. Most students who has ADHD are on medication and havebeen given the study skills to be successful. The student has to time manage on their own which
Attention3can also be a struggle for some.Students with ADHD feel like they are constantly multitasking.The trouble is they very often actually finish a task. ADHD could also affect a student’sperformance in an online course, especially if they are also working or have a family. Theirattention would not solely be on studying.Part of attention is one’s memory and the ability to retain the information or target thatwas given the attention. Memory can be separated into two main types, short term and long term.Memories that are strongest and most easily recalled involve deep levels of processing, analysis,and synthesis between other memories and thoughts (Sternberg & Sternberg, 2012).Memoriesare stored depending on their associations and common areas.In order to memorize somethingone needs to give it the proper amount of attention. If one has to divide their attention between