Study: Front row seat to good grades

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By Katherine Garcia

If you want to do well in a class, sit in the front row. When you choose a seat in the middle or far away in the back of the classroom, you are likely to be less engaged.

Students and teachers agree that sitting near the front is beneficial to learning.

“It’s hard for them not to give you eye contact when they’re right in front,” student development Adjunct Leticia Leal said.

She said those sitting in the front are generally more attentive and more engaged, while students who have trouble with tardiness and absences usually sit in the back.

“I think they don’t ask for help,” she said of students sitting in the back, adding that students sitting near the front are more likely to.

Criminal justice sophomore Alissa Rios said she prefers to sit in the middle of the classroom most of the time because she can focus better.

“In the back, you’re more distracted,” Rios said, noting that other students could improve simply by choosing another seat.

“I’d suggest for them to switch it up and try sitting in the front or the middle to help them focus,” Rios said.

Leal said people sitting at the back are not necessarily at a disadvantage, but students who don’t want to be in a class often sit in back.

Still, she tries to keep all students engaged.

Leal said she likes to walk around the classroom and make eye contact with her students.

She said she calls out a student on a cell phone or daydreaming to ask them to rejoin the class.

“I’m going to draw them out, no matter where they’re sitting,” she said.

Leal said instructors can help those in the back of the classroom by engaging with each student.

She said she does this by planning group activities that force students to stand up and interact with one another.


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