College students study less — a lot less — than they used to concludes a study by two economists reported in the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
In 1961, the average full-time college student spent 40 hours per week on academic work (that’s time in class and studying). In 2003, it was 27 hours.
The decline in academic effort wasn’t explained by students working more hours or by the changing make-up of the student body, the economists wrote. They don’t have an explanation.
Erin O’Connor of Critical Mass guesses at the reasons:
. . . lower standards (easier A’s, less reading, fewer consequences for lack of preparation, more gut majors and gut courses) combined with more technological distractions (social networking, web surfing, video gaming, watching TV and films, talking on the phone, texting, etc.). Studies show that teens and young adults spend something like 35 non-academic hours each week in front of various screens.
She also blames the party culture on many campuses. With few Friday classes, the weekend starts on Thursday.