June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Educational Research and Methods
12.514.1 - 12.514.19
Development of a Multi-level Assessment for a Cross-Disciplinary Project Evaluating the Symbiosis of Tablet PCs and Collaboration-Facilitating Software in the Classroom
Introduction Pen-based technologies like tablet PCs provide engineering educators the opportunity to increase the visual dimension of many different types of courses. At our institution we have developed curricula that deploy tablet PCs in five courses drawn from different disciplines: Introductory Physics; Technical Communication; Software Requirements and Specifications; Design for Manufacturing (mechanical engineering); and General Chemistry for Engineering Students. While pen-based technologies allow us to enhance the visual dimension of a course (an inherently laudable goal), these technologies are their most powerful when they simultaneously facilitate collaboration—between faculty and students, between students, and between one class and another. For this reason, our project work focuses on the assessment and evaluation of the impact of a symbiosis of hardware (Tablet PCs) and software (DyKnow Vision)1 on teaching and learning.
Assessment has been developed at two levels for this project. One level of assessment is the development of classroom assessment techniques, or CATs. Basing our project on the work of Angelo and Cross (1993), we have identified CATs appropriate to each course and then adapted them into the tablet PC/DyKnow environment.2 We have also made use of CATs that are already features within DyKnow, like the participant status and polling features. Each instructor can use CATs to gauge student learning in real time and make pedagogical adjustments as needed. The focus of this paper is, however, the second level of assessment, particularly the summative assessment components.
Summative assessment is used to measure success in implementing pen-based technology in classes in various disciplines, and the data collected are both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data are collected through self-report surveys, while qualitative data are collected through focus groups and open-ended items on self-report surveys. During the 2006-07 academic year, we are collecting data in five targeted courses. From these data, we can draw preliminary conclusions regarding the impact of tablet PCs and collaboration-facilitating software on student learning.
Context for the Project Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a private, primarily undergraduate institution of roughly 1850 students offering majors in engineering, mathematics, and science only. Since 1995, students have been required to purchase an institute-specified laptop computer with an installed suite of powerful software (e.g., Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Maple). The Laptop Computer program has meant that students can use modern computing tools in their classes and for their projects while still maintaining the portability inherent in laptop devices. At present, all classrooms are wired for high-speed network connections, and there are wireless nodes strategically placed around the entire campus. Students use their laptops in classrooms on a daily basis in most first-year courses and in many upper-division courses.
devasher, R., & Ferro, P., & Mitra-Kirtley, S., & Mutchler, D., & sexton, S., & Watt, A., & Williams, J. (2007, June), Development Of A Multi Level Assessment For A Cross Disciplinary Project Evaluating The Symbiosis Of Tablet Pc's And Collaboration Facilitating Software In The Classroom Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2414
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