Asee peer logo

Use Of A Tablet Pc And Wireless Connectivity For Effective Lectures In A Large Lecture Hall

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Technology and Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1384.1 - 10.1384.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Stephen Silliman

author page

Leo McWilliams

author page

Kevin Abbott

author page

G. Christopher Clark

Download Paper |

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

Session Number: 1686

Observations on Benefits/Limitations of an Audience Response System S.E. Silliman1, K. Abbott2, G.C. Clark3, L.H. McWilliams1 1 College of Engineering, University of Notre Dame / 2Office of Information Technologies, University of Notre Dame / 3Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Notre Dame

Abstract Providing stimulating lectures to large groups of students has been one of the most challenging aspects of a first-year engineering course sequence. Prior efforts at improving the lecture environment included use of an audience response system (ARS). While the ARS was a positive influence, two limitations were identified: (i) it did not provide for one-on-one interaction with students, and (ii) overuse led to student discontent. Experiments are underway to combine the ARS with use of a Tablet PC, allowing the lecturer to wirelessly project the Tablet PC screen while moving around the lecture hall. The lecturer can run software from any point in the hall, annotate / save slides in real time, or project student annotations and problem solutions to the class. This has allowed the lecturer to: (i) interact directly with individual students, (ii) encourage a participatory learning environment, and (iii) maintain higher levels of attendance at lectures. While a number of positive impacts on the learning environment have been observed, it is noted that the students do not generally recognize the novelty of the new technology. Thus, motivation for use of the technology should be based on improvement of the learning environment rather than on the novelty of the technology.

Introduction The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame has developed a two semester course sequence for all first-year students interested in the possibility of pursuing engineering as a major. Brockman et al.1 discuss the original motivation for the course, as well as the original format utilized. The format has since been modified to include two 50 minute lectures per week presented to the entire student body (classes number between 360 and 390 in the fall and between 260 and 300 in the spring) plus a 75 minute “learning center” session involving hands- on activities taught to groups of students not exceeding 30 in number. Lectures and learning- center periods equip students with the theory and applications required to complete four, one-half semester projects. Three of the projects are performed in groups and one is completed individually. The course has been assessed from a number of viewpoints. McWilliams et al.2 and Pieronek et al. 3 present recent observations involving course modifications based on assessment and demographic comparison of student satisfaction with the course and student retention through the two-semester sequence. A number of significant challenges have been encountered with this course. Among these has been creating a stimulating learning environment during lectures to large groups of students. Course assessment has consistently shown that students consider the lectures to be a weak

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Silliman, S., & McWilliams, L., & Abbott, K., & Clark, G. C. (2005, June), Use Of A Tablet Pc And Wireless Connectivity For Effective Lectures In A Large Lecture Hall Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14581

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015