COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR, vol.92, pp.216-229, 2019 (SSCI)
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the role of multitasking, physical setting and electroencephalography use on retention and cognitive load among undergraduate students in a computer supported learning environment. In the first experiment 129 subjects were assigned randomly to three multitasking scenarios while studying a biology video: Concurrent multitasking (n = 42), sequential multitasking (n = 44) and control/no multitasking (n = 43). While some subjects studied the material in a library room (n = 63) others (n = 66) studied in a cafeteria. Working memory, retention, subjective cognitive load, perceived mental effort and objective cognitive load (i.e., EEG) were measured. Findings revealed significant retention loss among concurrent multitaskers, whose perceived mental effort increased in cafeteria. Perceived mental effort correlated with the beta frequency (F7) of the frontal lobe. In the second experiment the influence of using EEG headsets was checked. Therefore, 60 new subjects were exposed to same interventions in a computer laboratory without EEG headsets. Retention and cognitive load measures were similar to Experiment 1. Retention of the content during online messaging was significantly worse. Working memory components and perceived mental effort correlated with retention in both experiments, whereas subjective cognitive load did not.