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Using Tablet Pcs To Enhance Student Performance In An Introductory Circuits Course

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Best Zone Paper Competition

Tagged Division

Council of Sections

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1338.1 - 15.1338.13



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Paper Authors


Amelito Enriquez Canada College Orcid 16x16

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Amelito Enriquez is a professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Canada College in Redwood City, CA. He received a BS in Geodetic Engineering from the University of the Philippines, his MS in Geodetic Science from the Ohio State University, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include technology-enhanced instruction and increasing the representation of female, minority and other underrepresented groups in mathematics, science and engineering.

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

Using Tablet PCs to Enhance Student Performance in an Introductory Circuits Course


Tablet PCs have the potential to change the dynamics of classroom interaction through wireless communication coupled with pen-based computing technology that is suited for analyzing and solving engineering problems. This study focuses on how Tablet PCs and wireless technology can be used during classroom instruction to create an Interactive Learning Network (ILN) that is designed to enhance the instructor’s ability to solicit active participation from all students during lectures, to conduct immediate and meaningful assessment of student learning, and to provide needed real-time feedback and assistance to maximize student learning. This interactive classroom environment is created using wireless Tablet PCs and a software application, NetSupport School. Results from two separate controlled studies of the implementation of this model of teaching and learning in sophomore-level Introductory Circuit Analysis course show a statistically significant positive impact on student performance. Additionally, results of student surveys show overwhelmingly positive student perception of the effects of this classroom environment on their learning experience. These results indicate that the interactive classroom environment developed using wireless Tablet PCs has the potential to be a more effective teaching pedagogy in problem-solving intensive courses compared to traditional instructor- centered teaching environments.

1. Introduction

Studies have long shown that the traditional instructor-centered lecture format is an ineffective learning environment, and that active participation, as well as interactive and collaborative teaching and learning methods, are more effective in various areas of science and engineering education including Chemistry1, Physics2, Engineering3, and Computer Science4. Various uses of technology have been found to be effective in enhancing the classroom experience to achieve more interactive and collaborative environments. These techniques include handheld wireless transmitters in Personal Response Systems (PRS)5, various forms of computer-mediated collaborative problem solving6, and the use of wireless Tablet PC technology7,8.

Tablet PCs are essentially laptop computers that have the added functionality of simulating paper and pencil by allowing the user to use a stylus and write directly on the computer screen to create electronic documents that can be easily edited using traditional computer applications. This functionality makes Tablet PCs more suitable than laptop computers in solving and analyzing

Enriquez, A. (2010, June), Using Tablet Pcs To Enhance Student Performance In An Introductory Circuits Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16979

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