June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Computers in Education
15.106.1 - 15.106.11
A Technology-Assisted Simulation of Distributed-Team IT Solution Development
Using HP mobile technology, students transformed their vision of teamwork then designed and implemented IT solutions addressing challenges posed through lecture and lab. In addition, faculty members not immediately involved in the grant learned how to use technology by seeing its use in the project classroom.
The goals of this study were how students’ collaborative and dynamic use of technology will transform their vision of teamwork to solve problems and determine the impact of the Tablet PC in improving students’ learning.
The institution is a small university whose mission is to empower minorities to achieve their full potential. Being a minority institution many students do not have the resources to purchase a computer and this widens the digital divide. Thanks to the HP grant in 2007 computer science students became familiar with computers, Internet browsing, Internet research, and experienced the utility of Tablet PCs as tools for learning, keeping notes, and connecting disparate pieces of data so that they attained the utility of information. Having all lectures online allowed students to review the material at their own pace and at their own convenience. In the selected course CS 360: Object Oriented Analysis and Design course, students designed two projects: one related to Decision Support Systems and the other to Database Design. In the other computer science classes, CS 101 “Introduction to Programming,” CS 105 “Object-Oriented Programming I,” and CS 106 “Object-Oriented Programming II” students were able to do many exercises efficiently, deepen their facility with programming procedures, watch movies and other videos supportive of the material being taught, access professors’ lecture notes at their convenience, and engage in self-tests tailored to ensure that students understood the level at which they grasped the material. Some testing was done outside the class. These efforts combined gave the instructor extra time for teaching and making sure those students learned the material well. Instructors also checked which questions were difficult for students and adjusted the material appropriately. Moreover, classes became more dynamic and promoted teamwork skills.
In contrast, three years ago, there was little use of computers in doing internet research, minimal teamwork skills, and students were passive. Today, the use of the Tablet PC allows students to work in teams. Students use the Tablet PC more heavily in most of their computer science classes. There is continuous active participation and use of the Internet in solving problems, and constant communication among students and the instructor. The PI has done intensive and extensive research and applications of the Tablet PC and several software packages, so he is in the position of assisting faculty in selecting the right software for a particular class or activity to ensure students learn and actively participate. The Tablet PC is also used by students taking Physics and Chemistry in the Math/Science department.
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