Short vs. Long: Cognitive Load, Retention and Changing Class Structures

Education Economics. doi: 10.1080/09645292.2017.1305099

Posted: 4 Jul 2016 Last revised: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Brandon J. Sheridan

Brandon J. Sheridan

Elon University

Ben Smith

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics

Erin Pleggenkuhle-Miles

University of Nebraska at Omaha - College of Business Administration

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

University class structure is changing. To accommodate working students, programmes are increasing their offerings of long night classes – some lasting as long as six hours. While these long classes may be more convenient for students, they have unintended consequences as a result of cognitive load (Van Merrienboer and Sweller, 2005). Using a panel of 124 students (372 observations) and a differencing approach that controls for student characteristics, we show that long classes reduce student exam performance by approximately one-half letter grade (significant at the 5% level).

Keywords: Cognitive Load, Class Structure, Retention

JEL Classification: A22, A23, A20

Suggested Citation

Sheridan, Brandon J. and Smith, Ben and Pleggenkuhle-Miles, Erin, Short vs. Long: Cognitive Load, Retention and Changing Class Structures (2017). Education Economics. doi: 10.1080/09645292.2017.1305099, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2803559 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2803559

Brandon J. Sheridan

Elon University ( email )

Elon, NC 27244
United States

Ben Smith (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics ( email )

College of Business Administration
60th and Dodge Streets
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bensresearch.com

Erin Pleggenkuhle-Miles

University of Nebraska at Omaha - College of Business Administration ( email )

60th & Dodge Streets
Omaha, NE 68182-0048
United States

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