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Using Tablet PCs and Associated Technologies To Reveal Undergraduate and Graduate Student Thinking

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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

22.1640.1 - 22.1640.14



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Paper Authors


JUDITH VIRGINIA GUTIERREZ Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Science, Engineering and Technology Education Ph.D. Student at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico.

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo Universidad de las Americas, Puebla


Enrique Palou Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Enrique Palou is Director, Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education; and Professor, Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla in Mexico. He teaches engineering design, food science, and education related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning environments, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering, and technology education.

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Using Tablet PCs and Associated Technologies To Reveal Undergraduate and Graduate Student ThinkingThe How People Learn framework [1, 2] was used to redesign the courses Food Chemistry andAdvanced Food Chemistry (IA-332 and IA-530). Our goal was to improve undergraduate andgraduate food chemistry teaching and learning by creating high-quality learning environmentsthat promote an interactive classroom while integrating formative assessments into classroompractices by means of Tablet PCs and associated technologies [3].We used InkSurvey, a web-based tool to pose open-ended questions to students during class andreceive real-time student responses [4]. Furthermore we identified classroom assessmenttechniques appropriate to the course and adapted them into a Tablet PC/Classroom Presenterenvironment to gauge student learning in real time, provide immediate feedback, and make real-time pedagogical adjustments as needed. Classroom Presenter can broadcast the presenter’sscreen content to the entire class using wireless networking [5]. In this mode, students were ableto receive the application output and the instructor’s annotations as well as add their ownannotations to every course presentation.The redesign of IA-332 and IA-530 significantly (p<0.05) increased student participation andformative assessments. Instructors utilized the information gained through real-time formativeassessment to tailor instruction to meet student needs. Particularly important were opportunitiesto make students’ thinking visible and give them chances to revise, as well as opportunities for“what if” thinking. Attempts to help students reflect on their own processes as learners (to bemetacognitive) were also emphasized. Further, the redesigned IA-332 and IA-530 coursesenhanced student understanding of the engineering design approach to problem solving as wellas students’ abilities to solve practical food chemistry problems and complete real world foodengineering projects.This paper will highlight what we have learned about the potential of Tablet PCs and associatedtechnologies to create classroom tasks and conditions under which student thinking can berevealed. Students’ initial conceptions provided the foundation on which more formalunderstanding of the subject matter was built. Further, frequent formative assessment helpedmake students’ thinking visible to themselves, their peers, and their teacher. Facilitated by TabletPC technologies, feedback (in both course levels) that guided modification/refinement inthinking increased. Additionally, the paper will describe the impacts the project has had on:instructors identifying the most common difficulties in undergraduate and graduate foodchemistry courses while providing immediate feedback of both written work products and oralpresentations from students; helping students reflect on their own processes as learners; andinstructors understanding of how through the use of Tablet PC technologies, student thinking canbe revealed, and therefore the student learning experience in the classroom can be enhancedresulting in improvements in both instruction and student academic success.[1] J. D. Bransford, A. L. Brown, and R. R. Cocking. How People Learn. Brain, Mind, Experience and School. Expanded Edition. National Academy Press. Washington DC (2000).[2] J. D. Bransford, N. Vye, and H. Bateman. Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn. In: The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. P. Albjerg Graham and N. G. Stacey (Eds.). National Academy Press. Washington DC (2002).[3] E. Palou, L. Gazca, A. López-Malo, and J. M. Garibay. High-Quality Learning Environments for Engineering Design: Using Tablet PCs and Guidelines from Research on How People Learn. In: From Lectures to Active Learning: Technology and the Scholarship of Teaching. HP/ISTE Reimagining the Classroom: Innovations in Teaching & Learning with Technology Book Series. M. Barnett, J. Vanides (Eds.) International Society for Technology and Education, Washington DC (in press).[4] F. Kowalski, S. Kowalski, and E. Hoover. Using InkSurvey: A Free Web-Based Tool for Open-Ended Questioning to Promote Active Learning and Real-Time Formative Assessment of Tablet PC-Equipped Engineering Students. Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference. Honolulu, HI (2007).[5] R. Anderson, R. Anderson, L. McDowell, and B. Simon. Use of Classroom Presenter in Engineering Courses. Proceedings of the 35th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. Indianapolis, IN (2005).

GUTIERREZ, J. V., & Lopez-Malo, A., & Palou, E. (2011, June), Using Tablet PCs and Associated Technologies To Reveal Undergraduate and Graduate Student Thinking Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18417

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