University class structure is changing. To accommodate working students, programmes are increasing their offerings of long night classes – some lasting as long as six hours. While these long classes may be more convenient for students, they have unintended consequences as a result of cognitive load. Using a panel of 124 students (372 observations) and a differencing approach that controls for student characteristics, we show that student exam performance decreases by approximately one-half letter grade on content taught in the second half of a long class (significant at the 5% level).
Sheridan, Brandon; Smith, Ben O.; and Pleggenkuhle-Miles, Erin G., "Short vs. long: cognitive load, retention and changing class structures" (2017). Economics Faculty Publications. 16.