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Tablet Pc Applications In A Large Engineering Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Computer Tools for Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1341.1 - 12.1341.13



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Paper Authors


Vinod Lohani Virginia Tech

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VINOD K. LOHANI is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). He received a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 1995. His areas of research include engineering education, international collaboration, and hydrology & water resources.

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Ricky Castles Virginia Tech

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Ricky Castles is a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Virginia Tech. His PhD work relates to knowledge map representation of engineering concepts. He is the coordinator of the workshops of Engineering Exploration (EngE1024).

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Jenny Lo Virginia Tech

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JENNY L. LO is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. She received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon and her B.S. in chemical engineering at Tulane University.

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Odis Griffin Virginia Tech

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HAYDEN GRIFFIN is currently professor and head of the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He holds BSME and MSME degrees from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from VPI&SU. He had 13 years of experience in industry and government laboratories prior to joining Virginia Tech in 1985.

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

Tablet PC Applications in a Large Engineering Program Abstract

A Tablet PC computing initiative was announced by Virginia Tech in summer 2006. Use of Tablet PC-based instruction was implemented in a freshman engineering course with about 1200 students in fall 2006. Examples of instructional activities included electronic note taking, use of inking features to review homework solutions and completing skeleton PowerPoint slides designed to increase the engagement level of students in a large classroom, 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 a 6-week long sustainable energy design project. A summary of assessment data from in-class clicker-based questions and end of semester course exit survey is presented to discuss the effectiveness of Tablet based instruction. Students liked electronic note taking features and quickly became proficient at setting up collaborative sessions using Tablet PC for design and problem solving activities and thought the Tablet PC was a good tool for that purpose.

1. Introduction

The College of Engineering (COE) at Virginia Tech announced a new Tablet PC computing initiative in summer 2006 for incoming freshmen. This initiative made it mandatory for all engineering freshmen (~1200 each year) to own a Tablet PC starting fall 2006 for use in engineering instruction. With this decision, the COE became the largest and first public college of engineering to require the Tablet PCs for the engineering freshmen. The college only recommended the specifications of the Tablet and students bought their machines from a number of manufacturers. Figure 1 shows the response to an exit survey question (~220 respondents) showing ownership of Tablets by brand. It may be mentioned that the Dell computers in this figure were laptops owned by students who were repeating the course. 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[1].

Tablet PC Ownership By Brand 2% 1% 2% Fujitsu Toshiba 17% Gateway 39% HP Asus Dell 39%

Figure 1: Tablet PC Ownership by Engineering Freshmen at a Large Engineering Program. Note: Dell computers represent laptops.

Lohani, V., & Castles, R., & Lo, J., & Griffin, O. (2007, June), Tablet Pc Applications In A Large Engineering Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2642

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