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Using Tablet PCs in Electrical/Computer Engineering Classrooms: Lecturing and In-class Activities

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Technology in the ECE Classroom

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

22.1641.1 - 22.1641.15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--18528

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18528

Download Count

97

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Paper Authors

biography

Weiying Zhu Hampton University

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Weiying Zhu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Hampton University. She received the Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Old Dominion University in August 2006, the M.S. in Communication and Information Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) in June 1999, and the B.S. in Biomedical Electronic Engineering at Xi'an Jiaotong University (China) in July 1996. She worked as a software engineer in Bell Labs China at Lucent Technologies from July 1999 to January 2003. In addition to engineering education-oriented research, her research interests include wireless networking, queuing and scheduling in high-speed switches and routers, network modeling and simulation, and network performance analysis.

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Abstract

Using Tablet PCs in Electrical/Computer Engineering Classrooms: Lecturing, In-class Activities, and ExperimentsAbstract As a frontier mobile computing technology, the Tablet PC has recently attractededucators’ attention in both K-12 and higher education [1, 2, 3]. Funded by an innovativeteaching grant, Tablet PCs have been introduced to Electrical and Computer Engineeringclassrooms at Hampton University since Fall 2007. Tablet PC-based teaching has beendeveloped and integrated with four undergraduate electrical/computer engineering courses:EGR102 (Introduction to Structured Programming), EGR213 (Digital Electronics), andELN311/312 (Engineering Electronics Lab I/II). Our experience focuses on the teaching andlearning in small/medium-sized classrooms. This paper presents how Tablet PCs are used and how the new technologies such asdigital inking, sharing of digital inking, and engineering software are implemented to supportlecturing, in-class activities, and experiments in those courses. First of all, the pen interface anddigital inking function, jointly offered by Tablet PC and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007, areused by the instructor to prepare teaching materials prior to the class, project lecture notes, writeproblem solving steps, highlight key points, and record in-class discussions in the class, andpublish lecture notes after the class. Second, a free software package, UW Classroom Presenter3.0, is used to support Tablet PC-based interactive in-class activities. The instructor initiates anetworked presentation with the participation of all students to deliver in-class assignments,accept and review students’ work, and share the work to the whole class. In programmingclasses, students work on hands-on coding and debugging assignments in Boland C++ Builderand MATLAB to practice the concepts and methods they just learned and get the instantfeedback from the instructor. Finally, Tablet PCs are also used in electronic lab courses bystudents to design, build, and test electronic circuits in an electronic schematic capture andsimulation program (MultiSIM) in parallel with experiments on electronic breadboards. Our work aims to promote student engagement, student learning outcomes, and teachingefficiency. Specific project outcomes are 1) to increase the participation of students to in-classactivities, 2) to engage students in active learning and critical thinking, 3) to improve the in-classinteractivity between the instructor and students, 4) to enable in-class computer-based hands-onprogramming and design activities, and, eventually, 5) to enhance student performance andteaching efficiency. This paper also discusses and analyzes the assessment data collected through entrance-surveys, exit-surveys, pre/post-tests, and comparison of student performance in exams betweenthe classes taught with and without the use of Tablet PCs. Entrance-surveys help us to get aninsight of technologies that students have been exposed to before they come to our classrooms.Exit-surveys are designed to investigate students’ perception on the use of Tablet PCs inclassrooms and labs in a variety of aspects. Pretests, posttests, and the comparison of examgrades between an experimental group and a control group are used to measure student learningoutcomes and teaching efficiency.Note to the editing team: An abstract of this work was submitted to ASEE-2010 in October 2009. However the abstractacceptance notification was NEVER delivered to the author due to the failure of email server or a misspelling address. One daybefore the due date of full paper, the author received a phone call from ASEE and was surprised to know that the abstract wasaccepted. Unfortunately, it was too late to complete a full paper. Thus, the author decided to submit the abstract of this workagain this year for a new round of review, which, as the author understands, is completely independent of the result of last year.Graph (a) Tablet PC-based classroom presentation(b) Submission and demonstration of in-class work (c) In-class activityReferences[1] V. K. Lohani, R. Castles, J. Lo, and H. Griffin, “Tablet PC Applications in a Large Engineering Program,” Computers in Education Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 52–63, April– June 2008.[2] S. M. Lord and L. A. Perry, “Tablet PC – Is It Worth It? A Preliminary Comparison of Several Approaches to Using Tablet PC in an Engineering Classroom,” Computers in Education Journal, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 66–75, July–September 2007.Note to the editing team: An abstract of this work was submitted to ASEE-2010 in October 2009. However the abstractacceptance notification was NEVER delivered to the author due to the failure of email server or a misspelling address. One daybefore the due date of full paper, the author received a phone call from ASEE and was surprised to know that the abstract wasaccepted. Unfortunately, it was too late to complete a full paper. Thus, the author decided to submit the abstract of this workagain this year for a new round of review, which, as the author understands, is completely independent of the result of last year.[3] R. Toto, M. Wharton, J. Cimbala, and J. Wise, “One Step Beyond: Lecturing with a Tablet PC,” Computers in Education Journal, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 2–11, July–September 2007.Note to the editing team: An abstract of this work was submitted to ASEE-2010 in October 2009. However the abstractacceptance notification was NEVER delivered to the author due to the failure of email server or a misspelling address. One daybefore the due date of full paper, the author received a phone call from ASEE and was surprised to know that the abstract wasaccepted. Unfortunately, it was too late to complete a full paper. Thus, the author decided to submit the abstract of this workagain this year for a new round of review, which, as the author understands, is completely independent of the result of last year.

Zhu, W. (2011, June), Using Tablet PCs in Electrical/Computer Engineering Classrooms: Lecturing and In-class Activities Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18528

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