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Facilitating Active Learning Engineering Courses With Tablet Pc Note Taking Technology

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.621.1 - 10.621.15



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Paper Authors

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Schinnel Small

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Alicia Davis

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Solomon Alao

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Craig Scott

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Yacob Astatke

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Pamela Leigh-Mack

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1520

Facilitating Active Learning Engineering Courses with Tablet PC Note Taking Technology

Craig Scott, Pamela Leigh-Mack, Solomon Alao, Alicia Davis, Yacob Astatke, and Schinnel Small

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland


This paper describes an investigation of a means to use technology to help students construct meaning through the use of the dimensions of Learning (DOL) pedagogical frame work. We use the tablet PC and specialized note taking software to facilitate the three minute pause technique and summarizing. This is done in an active learning environment and serves as a formative assessment for the class section being taught. These activities are done during the delivery of the performance tasks presented to a lower level pre-calculus course section. Details of the performance tasks, assessments and are discussed as well as the resulting impact of using tablet PCs as compared to laptops and conventional writing for note taking are discussed. Our results indicate although handwritten notes are generally preferred by most students, the tablet PC does have some advantages. Furthermore the users of the tablet PCs appeared to take better notes and benefit more from the summary exercise.


Students and faculty at many academic institutions are finding innovative ways to use tablet PCs as enabling instruments to support learning1. Here at Morgan State University, our previous effort was directed at studying how technology has had an impact on student perception2. Perception is the first dimension in our pedagogical framework. We have adopted the dimensions of learning pedagogical framework as the basis for our classroom teaching practices. The Dimensions of Learning (DOL) framework3 is a comprehensive model that uses what researchers and theorists know about learning to define the learning process. Its premise is that five types of thinking, or the five “dimensions of learning,” are essential to successful learning. The framework ensures that instruction takes into account all five of the critical components of learning which include:

Positive Attitudes and Perceptions about Learning; Thinking Involved in Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge

Small, S., & Davis, A., & Alao, S., & Scott, C., & Astatke, Y., & Leigh-Mack, P. (2005, June), Facilitating Active Learning Engineering Courses With Tablet Pc Note Taking Technology Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15019

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