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Promoting Faculty Adoption of Tablet PCs in Upper Level Engineering Courses

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Tablet PC use in Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1196.1 - 22.1196.11



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Paper Authors


James E. Lewis University of Louisville

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James E. Lewis, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals in the J. B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville. His research interests include parallel and distributed computer systems, cryptography, engineering education, undergraduate retention and technology (Tablet PCs) used in the classroom.

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Jeffrey Lloyd Hieb University of Louisville

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Promoting Faculty Adoption of Tablet PCs in Upper Level Engineering CoursesAbstractThe University of XXXX’s XXX School of Engineering began a student Tablet PC initiativefour years ago. As a result of this initiative, XXX School of Engineering classrooms now have aone to one Tablet PC deployment. Leveraging this environment to improve the teaching andlearning in the classroom is the long-term goal of this and many other Tablet PC programs.Many challenges to achieving this goal exist, including: faculty adoption, infrastructure support,and student competency.Faculty members in the Department of XX have been early adopters and pioneers in using TabletPCs in the classroom. Adoption of Tablet PC usage in upper level courses and in otherdepartments has been mixed and slower to develop than in the entry level courses taught by theDepartment of XX. A similar trend has also been the case in other schools with Tablet PCprograms.Preliminary research indicates that simple introductory seminars are not sufficient to bringfaculty to the competency level needed to effectively use Tablet PCs in the classroom. Theauthors, both members of the Department of XX developed both a two hour introductory seminarfor faculty on use of Tablet PCs, and a follow up summer workshop entitled: “Tablet FacultyLearning Community” (TFLC). Learning communities can be an effective means of promotingfaculty development, and the TFLC was based on the authors’ experiences in a differentUniversity Faculty Learning Community. The goal for both the seminar and TFLC were simple:provide faculty with technical and pedagogical information, and then offer support for theirattempts to incorporate Tablet PCs into the classroom teaching. A multiple projector approachwas developed to help faculty see each of the following: (a) the instructor’s Tablet PC screenwith controls, (b) the classroom projected content, and (c) a sample student Tablet PC screen.As part of the TFLC, faculty participants were required to develop material for one of theircourses using a Tablet PC and then present the material in a practice classroom setting.Participants reported the practice setting was very effective. There were only five participants inthe TFLC, including two faculty members who had not previously utilized Tablet PCs in theclassroom. One is now using Tablet PCs in the classroom on a limited basis this semester, andthe other has expressed serious interest in using them in future classes. Approaches andtechniques used in both the seminar and TFLC are described in greater detail, as well as surveyresults from the TFLC participants.

Lewis, J. E., & Hieb, J. L. (2011, June), Promoting Faculty Adoption of Tablet PCs in Upper Level Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18416

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