Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather M. Zerger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Anthony Concepcion, Ph.D.


Abolishing operation, Mobile device use, Socialization, Technology use


Educators and researchers aim to develop effective teaching practices to increase on-task behavior and decrease off-task behavior during class time to ensure positive outcomes for students. The types of off-task behavior observed in classrooms with high school and college populations have changed in recent years due to the prevalence of accessible technology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of social and academic breaks on off-task behavior in the college classroom. The social break allowed for a time for students to socialize and/or engage with a mobile device, and the academic break allowed for students to take a break from regular class while still remaining on-task. Participants’ off-task behavior occurred at high rates, with most off-task behavior being related to technology usage rather than socializing with a peer. Although the social break was rated as more favorable by the consenting students, neither the academic break nor the social break consistently decreased off-task behavior following the break. However, the least amount of off-task technology usage occurred during the academic break itself rather than during the data collection periods before and after the breaks. This may have implications for interactive pedagogical practices.