Routine Breakers for Emotionally Active Learning: A Case Study

Rosa Munoz-Luna, Antonio Jurado-Navas


The present paper aims to present a typology of classroom activities which may serve as group driving dynamics to improve student attention in class. Human attention skills may have been shortened now and traditional ways of imparting knowledge should be modified (Soslau, 2015). As a consequence, this implies multi-tasking behaviour as users develop a sense of immediacy. At the same time, student attention span is shorter at school and it decreases after certain time in the classroom doing monotonous activities. In order to find teaching solutions to this problem, we present what we call routine breakers, that is, classroom activities and catalysts with which to improve and optimise learner attention. We present students’ feedback and routine breaker results in the form of a case study: overt classroom observations in a group of undergraduate students in a Spanish university. The practice of these attention-catching exercises, accompanied by a number of changes in the teaching routine, renders a typology of routine breakers which is described in this study. When comparing a traditionally held class and a session with routine breakers, study participants rate the latter more positively. Further pedagogical implementations are also suggested.


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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