An enduring college classroom annoyance: The wandering student phenomenon


  • John F Gaski Indiana Policy Review Foundation


higher education, student deportment, student evolution, college classroom, discipline problems, instructor evaluation


Anyone teaching at the U.S. university level for two decades or more may recall when a dramatic change in student classroom behavior first became manifest. A tendency to regard attendance at a given class session as flexible, volitional, variable, and without concern for disruptive side-effects—with respect to each class segment—arose rather suddenly within the last 20 years, and continues. Specifically, for students to casually leave the room during class has become commonplace. Diagnosis of possible cause(s) and motivation for such arbitrary or rude wandering is attempted here, along with tentative prescriptive response. Investigative methods are primarily analytic and exploratory, including hundreds of interviews, augmented by formal survey. The basic finding is that faculty respondents do find the referenced behavior a serious problem. This work-product is apparently the first research to target the designated behavioral change.


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How to Cite

An enduring college classroom annoyance: The wandering student phenomenon. (2023). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 20(1), 8-12.