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The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

New study says back of the classroom is productive

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A student makes productive use of time in English 360: ‘Women and Men in 19th-Century Literature’

A recent study has discovered that students who sit in the back of the classroom are far more productive than those who sit in the front.
“Students who want to check out their Facebook or other social mediums, surf the web, or text usually tend to gravitate towards the back of the room,” said Professor Franny Fellowes of Yale University.
Fellowes was the lead researcher in the study, which measured students’ productivity based on where they sat. The study found that students in the back seats were far ahead in terms of being updated on what their friends were up to, what complete strangers were doing, and what was currently trending.
“I learned that Jason Smithee is throwing a huge party Saturday night. I watched Miley Cyrus’s new video like 12 times. Love it! And my status about the video got 21 likes,” said sophomore Molly Connor who sits in the back of all her classes. “I have no idea what class that was, but I used my time constructively,” said Connor.
“Students in the back sit there to do things other than classwork,” explained Fellowes. “They are doing those other things at a rate twice as fast as students sitting closer to the front of the room — things like catching up on what they missed during the weekend.”
This is exactly what Jason Smithee (Yes, that Jason Smithee. The one who threw the rager that this reporter went to. I give the party four thumbs up) did with his time in “Anthropology 101.”
“I was recovering from my party Saturday night and slept through most of the football games on Sunday, but I just watched highlights during class. Now, I’m all caught up,” said Smithee.
“It’s incredible,” Fellowes exclaimed.
But what was really incredible was that party.
“I really needed more than a day to recover. I slept like a baby,” said freshman Kendrick Washington, who zonked out during his Monday morning class in the Snowden Auditorium. He was so deeply asleep, he didn’t wake up until the middle of the class that followed his.
The nap helped Washington to be active and alert for his 2 p.m. class, where he checked his favorite celebrity’s tweets, browsed pictures of the party on Facebook, and checked out some Vine videos.
Fellowes’ breakthrough research debunks past studies reporting that the back of the classroom was where students didn’t get anything done.
When Fellowes’ research assistant, graduate student Casey Bryan, was asked how she felt knowing that the study proved false the myth that the back of the room is a black hole of ineptitude, she had the following to say:
“What? No. This study reinforces the old studies. I think you are misinterpreting the research. I guess if you look at it like that, students who sit in the back are very active on social media and have a great time Skyping with friends. Sure, they’re being constructive, but they aren’t learning anything about whatever subject they’re studing. Sitting in the back is unproductive and really a waste of ti…”
Bryan’s voice trailed off as this reporter slowly moved to the back of the room and checked out the UMass Boston Confessions page on Facebook.