Title

Why Do Students Sit Where They Sit in a Classroom?: A Survey of University of the Pacific Undergraduate Students

Lead Author Major

Sociology

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

George Lewis

Faculty Mentor Department

Sociology

Abstract/Artist Statement

This inductive study examined the various variables within a traditional classroom setting that could impact why students chose particular seats over others in a classroom. The variables under study included: race/ethnicity, physical attractiveness, familiarity, and gender of the respondent in reference to other people that may be present within the classroom at the time of seat choice. Other variables include access to goodies of the classroom such as attention from the professor, and approximate location to the door, windows, board, etc. Traditional classroom setting is operationalized by a room with: four walls, one of which is lined with windows; 20-30 student desks assembled in rows and columns; a professors’ desk in the front of the room and parallel to some kind of board or projector; and a door. The research design used was a survey questionnaire distributed to five different classes within five different undergraduate major departments of the University of the Pacific campus, with a total of 98 respondents. Sampling was limited by both time and conflicting schedules. Utilizing a table of random numbers, a list of departments from the university website, and a series of e-mails to network with professors, classes that were administered the survey were selected based on willingness and availability of time that could be taken out of the professors’ lecture. The survey consisted of: nine Likert-scale questions, two fill-ins, one open- ended question, and a diagram where respondents were able to physically mark their ideal seat if all seats were available upon arrival in a classroom. Data collection was accomplished through a tally of responses to each question based on the respondents’ race/ethnicity and sex, followed by the calculation of each category’s mean and mode responses. The main findings of the inductive survey are as followed: males are more inclined to sit next to a person that they find physically attractive, Asian-Americans are more likely to sit against the wall in order to gain access to outlets, and females prefer to sit in areas to minimize the number of distractions they would be exposed to.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 215

Start Date

21-4-2012 9:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2012 12:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Why Do Students Sit Where They Sit in a Classroom?: A Survey of University of the Pacific Undergraduate Students

DeRosa University Center, Room 215

This inductive study examined the various variables within a traditional classroom setting that could impact why students chose particular seats over others in a classroom. The variables under study included: race/ethnicity, physical attractiveness, familiarity, and gender of the respondent in reference to other people that may be present within the classroom at the time of seat choice. Other variables include access to goodies of the classroom such as attention from the professor, and approximate location to the door, windows, board, etc. Traditional classroom setting is operationalized by a room with: four walls, one of which is lined with windows; 20-30 student desks assembled in rows and columns; a professors’ desk in the front of the room and parallel to some kind of board or projector; and a door. The research design used was a survey questionnaire distributed to five different classes within five different undergraduate major departments of the University of the Pacific campus, with a total of 98 respondents. Sampling was limited by both time and conflicting schedules. Utilizing a table of random numbers, a list of departments from the university website, and a series of e-mails to network with professors, classes that were administered the survey were selected based on willingness and availability of time that could be taken out of the professors’ lecture. The survey consisted of: nine Likert-scale questions, two fill-ins, one open- ended question, and a diagram where respondents were able to physically mark their ideal seat if all seats were available upon arrival in a classroom. Data collection was accomplished through a tally of responses to each question based on the respondents’ race/ethnicity and sex, followed by the calculation of each category’s mean and mode responses. The main findings of the inductive survey are as followed: males are more inclined to sit next to a person that they find physically attractive, Asian-Americans are more likely to sit against the wall in order to gain access to outlets, and females prefer to sit in areas to minimize the number of distractions they would be exposed to.