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Students’ Perceptions of Tablet PC Interaction Techniques

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Tablets Large and Small

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1197.1 - 25.1197.15



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Paper Authors


Mahnas Jean Mohammadi-Aragh Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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Jean Mohammadi-Aragh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Engineering Education. Before attending Virginia Tech, she earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer engineering from Mississippi State University and worked full-time in a scientific visualization research lab. Currently, she is a Dean's Teaching Fellow and ENGE Ambassador. She is teaching a freshman engineering course while pursuing her research interests involving technology use in the engineering classroom.

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Christopher B. Williams Virginia Tech

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Students’ Perceptions of Tablet PC Interaction TechniquesIncreasingly, engineering programs are requiring their students to bring personalcomputers to class in order to engage in technology-centered instructional activities.Anecdotally, instructors have noted both advantages and disadvantages of technology inthe classroom. One of the strongest advantages is the potential to increase studentinteraction in large lectures via engaging media, interactive polling, or computer-basedthink-pair-share activities. Many learning theories stress the importance of attention, andit is believed that this increased interaction will promote attention and thus result inincreased learning. However, these perceived advantages could be offset by thetremendous distractions provided by an internet-connected computer.In order to gain an understanding of student and instructor computer usage in engineeringclassrooms, the authors conducted a preliminary action research study of a first-yearengineering course wherein students used personal TPCs. The objective of the study is toexplore the instructional use of Tablet PCs (TPCs) and the student-perceived effects onlearning. In the studied course, instructors used course management software was usedprimarily to distribute course content (e.g., slides) to students. In addition, the softwarewas used to implement various instructional interventions including polls, electronic ink,and screen broadcast. In order to gain preliminary insight into the effectiveness of thesecomputer-based instructional strategies, students rated the various interventions’ potentialimpact on personal learning via a survey instrument. Students were also asked to explaintheir reasoning behind their ratings. Finally, a selection of TPC interventions weredirectly compared to more traditional lecture methods (e.g., electronic ink versus writingon the chalkboard).It is the authors’ hope that, from these preliminary results, instructors will be betterinformed in choosing which student-instructor interaction methods to use in atechnology-infused classroom. This is relevant as effectively using new technology in acourse requires additional instructor time commitments for technology familiarizationand course planning. Sharing “best practices” is a way to reduce the time requirementwith regards to planning, and to possibly increase technology adoption levels forinstructors.

Mohammadi-Aragh, M. J., & Williams, C. B. (2012, June), Students’ Perceptions of Tablet PC Interaction Techniques Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21954

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