Setting strict text-message rules could be key to limiting texting in class.

College students say their professors would be “shocked” to know just how often they send text messages during lectures, and one researcher has offered a simple and stringent solution: Give failing grades to text-happy students.

Nine in 10 students said in a Wilkes University study released this month that they have sent and received texts during class, although a much smaller portion of students believe educators should allow unlimited texting in class as long as it doesn’t disturb others.

Wilkes psychology professors Deborah Tindell and Robert Bohlander created a 32-question survey gauging texting habits that was answered by 269 students on the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., campus.

Their research showed the ubiquity of cell phones on college campuses—95 percent of respondents said they take their phone to class—and the prevalence of easy-to-use “QUERTY” keyboards on mobile devices, Tindell said.

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