Texas Tech University

Worldwide eLearning News & Events

eLearning Grad Student Wins Poster Competition

by Gail Alleyne Bayne

The Graduate School hosts the Graduate Student Research Poster Competition in the spring of each year in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court at the Texas Tech University Museum. In its 15th year, there were 220 submissions, making the entry field very competitive. Students were selected for the event from various disciplines (including students in distance programs) across the Texas Tech campus.

My poster was created for a pilot study that was conducted during the spring and fall 2015 semesters to examine mental fatigue among university students enrolled in online courses. Mental fatigue has gained a lot of attention in the 21st century because we live in the Information Age where everything is computerized, and technology has become a major part of our daily lives. The research focus surrounding mental fatigue, thus far, has been on clinical and workplace settings. From an educational perspective, research has shown that mental fatigue can cause a decrease in performance and inhibit information retrieval.

Technology has brought with it the proliferation of distance education, and with students spending more and more time doing coursework online, it is likely that their cognitive functions such as thinking, recall and reasoning may be overloaded. I find this topic fascinating, especially from an online course design and course quality perspective. How do we know whether online instruction is contributing to students' mental fatigue and potentially inhibiting learning? There are no current studies that make connections between mental fatigue and the design of online learning environments. I think that this might be the next step in the evolution of distance education.

Gail Alleyne Bayne

Gail Alleyne Bayne, Research Assistant with TTU Worldwide eLearning and Doctoral Candidate in the Instructional Technology program in the College of Education won first place in her category, “Exploring, Learning, & Teaching I,” with her research titled “An Exploratory Study of University Students' Mental Fatigue in Online Courses.”