I coordinate services in a multi-function learning center. Our services include hosting athletic study tables, a Writing Center, peer tutoring, math lab, etc., as well as support for students with disabilities. Our dilemma is that we do not allow headphones while students are studying, even though some students claim they can study better while listening to music. Our study skills texts/research and previous experience show that while one is recognizing music one cannot effectively recognize the written word at the same time. One of our learning services specialists, who works with learning disabled students, disagrees however, and says some students really do concentrate better while listening to music. We are often packed to the rafters with athletes and other students and I'm afraid that if we allow some to use headphones, all will want to, and then we'll face a constant battle of having to remind students to lower the volume, stay on task, etc. Does anyone else have experience or know of current research in this area?

Rebecca Peterson
Academic Center for Excellence
Ellsworth Community College
1100 College Ave., Iowa Falls, IA 50126
Ph: 641-648-4611, Ext. 219
Fax: 641-648-3128
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