About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6569-6576
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain


J.V. Benlloch-Dualde, F. Buendía, N. Prieto, J.C. Cano

Universitat Politècnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
Being imminent the widespread adoption of the Bologna Process in Spanish Universities, it is now time to give efficient proposals to follow. In terms of teaching strategies, there is no doubt that these must move from the widespread traditional lectures and concept-based teaching to student-centred and competency-based instruction. In this context, there are clear evidences that technology can drive major positive changes in the classroom, addressing problems associated with traditional lecture-based pedagogy. In particular, the flexibility of Tablet PCs and other digital-ink enabled devices have the potential to achieve a wide range of educational goals and promote a more participatory classroom environment.

In this paper, we propose a novel approach to design interactive classroom environments supported by mobile Tablet PC technology, which integrates formative assessment into classroom practices and provides immediate feedback to students. The proposed approach combines active learning techniques and Tablet PC technologies to support bidirectional student to student and student to instructor in-class collaboration.

Our proposal builds upon the fundamental issues related to our Computing undergraduate courses: (a) pupils’ lack of motivation, (b) low class attendance rates; (c) high course dropout rates, and (d) low participation and student interaction. Starting from this situation and in the context of the European Higher Education Area, the proposed approach provides guidelines to design and develop both lecture materials and active learning exercises. Thus, the instructor role deals with the development of contents and resources, adapted to a Tablet PC environment, the design of interactive activities that take advantage of these devices, as well as the use of quantitative and qualitative tools that enable a continuous student assessment.

In order to illustrate our proposal, we will describe how the technology has been used during the spring 2010 semester in two courses of our Computing Curricula degrees: Computer Technology (ATC) and Data Structure and Algorithms (EDA). Additionally, we will describe particular examples of activities that show the potential of digital ink in such kind of disciplines.

To measure the effectiveness of the experiences, two sections have been compared for each course, the treatment group using the Tablet PCs, and a control group following the traditional teaching. In ATC results showed that the dropout rate in the Tablet section has declined more than 50%, while the number of students passing the course has almost doubled over the control group. In EDA, attendance rates have also improved, although the academic performance was only slightly better. Furthermore, a qualitative analysis of the experience has provided in both cases a very good perception by both students and faculty participating in it. We consider that the proposed approach has benefited the autonomy, interaction, and motivation of our students, thereby improving their academic performance and enhancing their self-confident in the learning process.

The proposed work was part of a Hewlett Packard project in the framework of the "2008 HP Technology for Teaching Grant Initiative, Transforming Teaching and Learning through Technology". In the current academic year we are using the same approach to different courses in a new curriculum on Computer Science degree, according to Bologna Declaration.
author = {Benlloch-Dualde, J.V. and Buend{\'{i}}a, F. and Prieto, N. and Cano, J.C.},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {6569-6576}}
AU - J.V. Benlloch-Dualde AU - F. Buendía AU - N. Prieto AU - J.C. Cano
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 6569
EP - 6576
ER -
J.V. Benlloch-Dualde, F. Buendía, N. Prieto, J.C. Cano (2011) USING TABLET PC TECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPORT INTERACTIVE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 6569-6576.