June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Computers in Education
13.203.1 - 13.203.19
Analysis of Tablet PC Based Learning Experiences in Freshman to Junior Level Engineering Courses
Virginia Tech announced a Tablet PC initiative for its engineering program in summer 2006. In fall 2006 Tablet based in and out of class activities were implemented in the freshman engineering program. In fall 2007, Tablet based instruction activities were implemented in upper level engineering courses. Typical examples of Tablet based instruction included electronic note taking, use of inking features to review homework solutions, completing skeleton PowerPoint slides, and setting up online collaboration sessions to do group design project and problem solving activities. In addition, the Tablets helped students maintain an electronic log of their individual and group efforts in completing design projects. A major change in 2007 was the incorporation of DyKnow software into instruction. Examples of students’ feedback in support of feedback based instruction and assessment data from in-class polling and an end of semester course exit survey of freshmen are presented to discuss the effectiveness of Tablet based instruction. Also, experiences of engineering freshman in fall 2006 and 2007 are compared to show effectiveness of new implementation strategies adopted in fall 2007.
A new Tablet PC computing initiative was announced in summer 2006 for incoming engineering freshmen at the College of Engineering (COE) at Virginia Tech1. This initiative made it mandatory for all engineering freshmen (~1300 each year) to own a Tablet PC starting fall 2006. Figure 1 shows the response to an exit survey question (~220 respondents in fall 2006 and ~540 respondents in fall 2007) showing ownership of Tablets by brand. In 1984, the COE was the first public institution in the U.S. to require its entering engineering freshmen to own a personal computer. In 2002, the college moved to a laptop requirement and many of its academic buildings were outfitted to offer wireless communication capabilities. Tablet PC Ownership by Brand Tablet PC Ownership by Brand Fall 2006 Fall 2007 2% 5% 2% 1% 2% 2% Fujitsu Fujitsu Toshiba 9% 17% Toshiba Gateway Gateway 39% HP 15% 67% HP 39% Asus Asus Dell Lenovo
Figure 1- Tablet PC Ownership by Engineering Freshmen at Virginia Tech in fall 2006 and fall 2007 Note: Dell computers represent laptops.
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