Capturing students' attention: An empirical student

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Erik Rosegard
Jackson Wilson


College students (N=846) enrolled in a general education course were randomly assigned to either an arousal (experimental) or no-arousal (control) group.  The experimental group was exposed to a topic-relevant, 90-second external stimulus (a technique used to elevate arousal and focus attention).  The control group listened to the instructor take roll.  Both groups then listened to the same 30-minute lecture followed by an exam.  An independent-samples t-test found a significant difference in exam scores measuring information retention between arousal (M=13.36, SD=1.5) and no-arousal (M=12.85, SD=1.4) conditions; t (844)=5.20, p < .001.  Results suggest introducing a lecture with an external stimulus increases information retention.


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How to Cite
Rosegard, E., & Wilson, J. (2013). Capturing students’ attention: An empirical student. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13(5), 1-20. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Erik Rosegard, San Francisco State University

Erik Rosegard, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism

Jackson Wilson, San Francisco State University

Jackson Wilson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism