Quintessence

Goal

The overall goal of our team is to evaluate and to improve the individually perceived attentiveness of TUM students during lectures by implementing different types of breaks and comparing their effects.

 

Frame of Reference

Research showed that the human attention span is limited to about 15 minutes and that attention generally oscillates which means that "it goes in waves". Moreover it showed, that the possibility to elongate the human attention span is marginal compared to the effort that would be required. That is why we decided not to try to extend human's attention span but to change the conditions people are surrounded by in order to help them being more attentive. 

As the difference between the general 15 minutes of attention and the 90 minutes of lecture is especially large, we decided to choose this as our setting to try to improve the individually perceived attentiveness by changing the environment of the students. We came to the conclusion that implementing a five-minute-break after 45 minutes of lecture would be the ideal method to evaluate whether students perceive this as useful for their concentration and their ability to stay attentive.

 

Method

In order to measure whether our hypothesis, that the human attention span can be supported by changing the enviromental conditions, is right we decided to develop a questionnaire. With this questionnaire we want to measure the individually perceived attentiveness during lectures before the implementaion of a five-minute-break and after the implementation. Additionally, we aim to implement at least two different types of breaks of which one should be an "empty break" which means just a normal break and the other one should have some additional hopefully attention supporting features (e.g. physical mobilization, selling snacks, etc.). By comparing the results, we hope that we will be able to make some statements about whether breaks during lectures are useful at all and if so, which type of break is best to improve student's attentiveness. 

 

Team:

  • Daniel Frey
  • Simon Gandorfer
  • Sophia Hasbach
  • Dennis Huber
  • Saskia Hutschenreiter
  • Jonas Papazoglou-Hennig

Tutors:

  • Sebastian Kaltenbach

Supervisors:

  • Dr. Susanne Witzgall
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Förstl