When is the best time for college students to study?

A new cognitive study used two methods to investigate the most suitable starting time for undergraduate learning. Through the empirical model based on investigation and the theoretical model based on neuroscience, they investigated the freshmen and sophomores of the University of Nevada in Reno and the Open University in the United Kingdom, and analyzed the learning mode of each student, so as to determine the best learning time for students with the best cognitive performance.

“The preliminary results are that the best time for college students to learn is generally later than the standard class time,” said martiah Evans, associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada and co-author of the study. “Especially for freshmen and sophomores, we should add more afternoon and evening classes to the standard curriculum.”

Previous studies have shown that it is best for college students to delay class time. The study also analyzed freshmen and sophomores. Evans, Jonathan Kelley, Professor of sociology, and Paul Kelley, honorary researcher of sleep, physiology and memory neuroscience of the Open University of the United Kingdom assessed the optimal sleep time of participants and asked them to rate their cognitive activity health every other hour within 24 hours a day.

“Neuroscientists have recorded time changes through biological data – adolescents’ biologically ‘and’ naturally ‘learning time is on average 2 hours later than adults’ optimal learning time.” The research we present here also supports the idea of delaying the start time of College Students’ learning, but they also show that the best performance time of everyone is different in a day, and we can’t cover it all with one. “

The results of this study show that learning at 11 a.m. or after noon can achieve the best learning effect. The study also showed that people who regarded themselves as “night” type were twice as likely as those who regarded themselves as “morning” type. Finally, they concluded that each start time would be unfavorable to one or more sleep types (individuals tend to be more alert and active in a certain time within 24 hours).

“Therefore, scientific research supports the recent behavior of universities to add evening courses to the standard courses for undergraduates.” Evans said, “research also shows that asynchronous online courses can enable students to better match their professional learning time with the best learning time.”

This study uses a new method of matching college class time with sleep type to determine the best time for cognitive activities. The research results were published in Frontiers in human neuroscience on March 31, 2017.

“This also raises people’s question: our research results show that starting learning too early will limit students’ performance. Why do universities still start classes at 9 o’clock or even earlier?” Kelly said, “because asynchronous online learning allows students to adjust their learning time to the most effective time of their day to match their own biological clock, this study supports asynchronous online learning.”

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