Using Laptops in the Classroom: The University of Michigan


Across the University of Michigan, laptops and other mobile devices are appearing in the classroom in greater numbers. Many faculty see this trend as an opportunity for more innovative teaching and are exploring ways to leverage this technology to increase student engagement during lectures. At the same time, some faculty worry about the potential distractions that mobile devices could introduce into their classrooms. To help assess the efficacy of laptops for student learning—and to gain insights into how laptop technology can contribute to instructional goals and support student learning—the university’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) undertook a study to examine how laptops affect student attentiveness, engagement, and learning.

The Seeking Evidence of Impact (SEI) program is intended to bring the teaching and learning community into a discussion about ways of gathering evidence of the impact of our innovations and current practices. The goal of the SEI case studies is to provide examples of successful projects evaluating the impact of innovation, technology, and best practices in teaching and learning.

In addition to the SEI case studies, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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