Student Off-Task Electronic Multitasking Predictors: Scale Development and Validation

Yuxia Qian, Li Li


In an attempt to better understand factors contributing to students’ off-task electronic multitasking behavior in class, the research included two studies that developed a scale of students’ off-task electronic multitasking predictors (the SOTEMP scale), and explored relationships between the scale and various classroom communication processes and outcomes. The first study inductively developed initial typologies for the SOTEMP scale, refined the scale item pool, and explored the dimensions of the scale. Subsequently, the second study validated the scale through a confirmatory factor analysis and by assessing different concurrently existing communication processes as well as students’ perceived learning outcomes. Four factors were found: Lack of Class Relating, Technology Dependence, Class Easiness, and Overwhelmed feeling. Reliability and validity were established for the scale. Results indicated the SOTEMP scale was positively related to students’ cognitive absorption, and negatively related to students’ perception of their affective learning. However, the SOTEMP scale was not related to students’ perceived cognitive learning. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.


off-task electronic multitasking; scale development

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ISSN 1527-9316