Understanding smartphone usage in college classrooms: A long-term measurement study

Inyeop Kim, Rihun Kim, Heepyung Kim, Duyeon Kim, Kyungsik Han, Paul H. Lee, Gloria Mark, Uichin Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Smartphone usage is widespread in college classrooms, but there is a lack of measurement studies. We conducted a 14-week measurement study in the wild with 84 first-year college students in Korea. We developed a data collection and processing tool for usage logging, mobility tracking, class evaluation, and class attendance detection. Using this dataset, we quantify students' smartphone usage patterns in the classrooms, ranging from simple use duration and frequency to temporal rhythms and interaction patterns. Furthermore, we identify the key predictors of students’ in-class smartphone use and their semester grades. Our results reveal that students use their phones for more than 25% of effective class duration, and phone distractions occur every 3–4 min for over a minute in duration. The key predictors of in-class smartphone use are daily usage habits and class characteristics, and in-class phone usage is negatively correlated with student grades.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103611
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Academic performance
  • In-class smartphone use
  • Multitasking behaviors
  • Objective measurements
  • Smartphone distraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding smartphone usage in college classrooms: A long-term measurement study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this