Students find it hard to focus in some classroom settings

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Reported by Sean Hitrec

While schools are supposed to provide a learning atmosphere, certain environmental aspects of a classroom can cause students to lose focus.

Students may find themselves failing to keep their focus during lessons in some classes because of certain distractions such as background noises, bad lighting and technology.

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Students study in the library at Langara College. Photo by Sean Hitrec.

Classroom conditions contribute to distracted students

Saeid Jashnsaz, second-year computer science student at Langara, said interactive classes are the easiest to concentrate on yet external conditions in class distract him.

“When light is dim you get distracted easily and when you pay attention in the class and someone is talking behind you, obviously you lose concentration,” Jashnsaz said.

Jennifer Poole, a psychology instructor at Langara, said that attention could only be held for approximately 10 minutes.

“So, you need classes that break that up,” Poole said. “I think the two-hour [class] is too long, but that’s kinda what we have here.”

Jashan Kaur, a Langara biology student, said she only gets distracted in math class because it’s not directly within her area of interest.

“I check my [Instagram] and you check your text messages, your mail and anything because you just don’t want to attend your lecture. So you just find anything to pass your time,” Kaur said.

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Good lighting may help some students focus, such as the lighting in the library, where many students choose to study. Photo by Sean Hitrec.

It takes some time for students to figure out what works best for them

Poole said that part of learning in college has to do with not succeeding right away. If someone doesn’t pay attention in class and then receives undesirable marks, they can learn to adapt and stay on task.

“Physiologically, people don’t mature until they are 25,” she said. “I’m not saying that that means that it makes it okay that you make bad choices, it makes it more likely that you will.”

Poole also said most young adults have to take charge of their learning development.

“You have to be responsible to yourself and you have to be self motivated.” Poole said “It takes a bit of learning to figure it out.”

Check out The Voice podcast: Learning environments at Langara make ADD and ADHD symptoms worse for more on the story.

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