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Why Come To Class? Posting Notes From Tablet Pc Lectures

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Software and Hardware for Educators II

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1374.1 - 14.1374.12



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Paper Authors

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Patrick Cunningham Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Shannon Sexton Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Julia Williams Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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

Why come to class? – Posting Notes from Tablet PC Lectures


When I first used a tablet PC in teaching I had colleagues who posted their notes for their students. My first reaction was, “Why would I do that? The students will not see any point in coming to my class.” Furthermore, I was concerned that my students would not learn to be good note takers, instead relying on the posted notes. In this work, we are focusing on how students used posted notes and the impact this had on student attendance, learning, and perceptions.


In the last five years tablet PCs have become prevalent in discussions and studies of higher education pedagogy, but their usage is not ubiquitous. Tablet PCs are laptop computers that have a touch sensitive screen that responds to a stylus input. This enables the integration of material prepared before class with hand-written annotations during class. Recent advances have made tablet PCs less expensive and more reliable and thus more available in higher education classrooms. They are, however, relatively new to the classroom and the sphere of their implementation is modest. Some possible reasons for this include the learning curve for using tablet PCs effectively and the limited but quickly growing body of research supporting their effectiveness.

There has been much work at our school since 2003 studying the implementation of tablet PCs in the classroom and DyKnow Vision collaborative software.1-4 In these studies the instructor has had a tablet PC and the students have had tablet PCs, laptops with Wacom slates, or no computer during lecture. The DyKnow Vision software enabled implementation of a variety of classroom assessment techniques and electronic collaborations between students and between students and the instructor. This study focuses on instructor use of a tablet PC for lecture delivery while students only have hard paper copies of the prepared portion of the course notes.

Some other researchers have looked at the case where just the instructor uses a tablet PC.5-6 These studies investigated student expectations and reactions to tablet PCs5 and improving student engagement and learning6. Both studies reported an active learning environment where students were regularly interacting with each other and with the instructor. Survey questions asked about student perceptions of the notes posted on the course management website with very positive feedback. The first study5 does not make connections to student learning and encourages future researchers to do so. The second study6 only mentions attendance anecdotally, but sought to tie survey results and prior performance to standardized exam scores to measure learning gains. Evidence shows that the students in the active classroom with the tablet PCs scored better on the standardized exam than students in a traditional non-tablet PC classroom. In the present study student learning, attendance and perceptions are investigated relative to student access of filled-in course notes posted on the course management software.

We hypothesize that students, in general, see class attendance as useful even when given access to filled-in notes from class. Since I post my notes using our course management software, we

Cunningham, P., & Sexton, S., & Williams, J. (2009, June), Why Come To Class? Posting Notes From Tablet Pc Lectures Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5414

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