Investigating Digital Distraction among Pre-service Science, Technology, and Mathematics Teachers in Nigeria

Adeneye Awofala, Oladiran Olabiyi, Racheal Okunuga, Omolabake Ojo, Awoyemi Awofala, Abisola Lawani


Internationally, proliferation of digital technologies in classrooms has produced digital distractions among digital natives in this 21st century. Thus, it is highly imperative to develop a suitable instrument for assessing and measuring digital distraction among higher education students to enable continuing research and practice. While previous studies had treated and measured digital distraction as a sub-component of a multi-dimensional construct and as a test, the present study through instrumentation survey research, developed and authenticated a standalone digital distraction scale among pre-service science, technology and mathematics (STM) teachers in Nigeria. The instrument is constructed by adopting a multidimensional standpoint of digital distraction around a higher-order modelling method. The pre-service STM teachers were recruited from a culturally varied university student population in Nigeria. The results showed a high level of digital distraction among the pre-service STM teachers in Nigeria and the digital distraction is composed of several connected yet distinctive factors (emotional distraction, digital addiction, and distraction by procrastination), with proof backing up a higher-order structural archetypal. More so, empirical evidence confirmed the measurement invariance of the scale with regards to gender and the consistency of the psychometric properties of the digital distraction scale. Finally, a test-retest reliability of the digital distraction scale showed that the scores are not variable over time and that the scale is not sensitive to alterations in the learning milieu. Finally, it is hoped that this tool will be handy for educators interested in isolating pre-service STM teachers at risk of high digital distraction which may cause lack of respect and privation of courtesy for instructors and personal distraction in the classroom.


Digital distraction; scale; pre-service teachers; science; mathematics; technology; Nigeria

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