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Experimental App Tests Correlation Between Study Time and Grades

Experimental App Tests Correlation Between Study Time and Grades

Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed an app for smartphones that uses GPS, motion sensor and microphone functions to determine how much time students are spending hitting the books and then drawing patterns based on the students' final grades.

"In a small experiment, researchers at Dartmouth College have shown that data automatically collected by an Android app can guess how students are spending their time — predicting their end-of-term grades with scary accuracy," NPR said.

The app is able to use the smartphone functions to determine how much time the student is spending on studying with almost unbelievable precision. It uses the GPS, motion sensor and microphone functions to decipher between different behavior patterns- sleeping, physical activity, studying and partying. The app can even determine the student's level of focus based on how often he or she checks his or her phone.

Not as surprisingly as how precise the app is, the study revealed that students who were determined to spend more time studying finished the semester with better grade averages.

"Slightly more surprising, students tended to perform better when they buckled down towards the end of the semester. After the midterm, 'A' students partied less, stayed at home more, and spent less time in conversation," the article said.

The study revealed that it wasn't the overall time spent partying or simply not studying that determined good grades but rather the student's ability to prioritize before crucial exams and projects.

"[Lead Investigator Andrew] Campbell, a computer scientist, has a longstanding interest in what he calls 'persuasive technology.' He dreams of making this app available in the app store to help students improve their behaviors and in turn, classroom performance — a Fitbit for your brain."

Campbell admitted to NPR that privacy and protection of student data would be a concern as the technology behind the app relies on collecting sensitive data and the question of who has access to the student data will likely be a point of contention.

The experiment included only 30 students from Dartmouth undergraduate programs, but the researchers intend to apply the study to larger and more diverse campuses soon for further tests.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/03/2015

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