Controlling computer-based multitasking through provisioning systems in co-located learning settings


Computer-based multitasking behavior has become commonplace, however its efficacy in co-located settings is disputed. An important question therefore is how computer-based multitasking can be controlled when traditional organizational control mechanisms are infeasible or unavailable. We conceptualize and operationalize computer-based multitasking in terms of on-task and off-task uses. Our research objective is to examine a provisioning system’s effectiveness with respect to restraining off-task uses while leaving on-task uses unaffected in a co-located learning setting. We conclude that provisioning systems alone are not sufficient to effectively control computer-based multitasking—to restrain off-task use, so it may be advisable to augment provisioning systems with behavioural modification and reform efforts.

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