The use of mobile devices in class has become a common scene on the college campus. The negative effects of in-class multitasking behaviors have been identified in many educational settings, including colleges. This study investigates the factors that drive college students to multitask and seeks to understand the relationship between learning engagement and multitasking behaviors in the classroom. This study also explores whether polychronic traits relate to multitasking behavior.

A total of 282 survey samples were collected from college students in Taiwan. The results confirmed our hypotheses: (1) Students’ multitasking motivation, including social and emotional needs, positively relates to their in-class multitasking. (2) Polychronic traits positively relate to in-class multitasking. (3) Learning engagement negatively relates to in-class multitasking behavior. (4) Polychronic traits negatively relate to learning engagement. (5) Low course difficulty level relates to more frequent in-class multitasking behaviors. The implications of the study are also discussed.



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