Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Work and Society


Wayne Lewchuk


Stephanie Premji



Committee Member

Robert Storey


This study examines issues arising from the popular use of technology and social networking in the classroom during lecture and its effect on student grades. Data were collected in a first year social science course. Findings of a general survey show that the use of technology and social networking during lecture is a popular form for multitasking with little impact on grades up to a certain threshold. Addressing this issue, this paper puts forth a broad historical overview of the use of leisure activities by workers during preindustrialization and industrialized capitalism. Through an examination of multitasking during lectures, this paper will assess the extent to which social norms of time discipline may be changing and the impacts this could have on the future of work organization. Activity theory is one method of guiding research in order to incorporate these multitasking activities into teaching and learning paradigms and policies for use in the classroom.

McMaster University Library