About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4654-4664
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

EXAMINING THE USE AND LEARNING OUTCOMES OF TABLET DEVICES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

J. Percival, T. Claydon

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (CANADA)
Despite their popularity with students and faculty, usability studies concerning mobile tablet devices in post-secondary environments are lacking. This study aimed at determining user perceptions and usability of tablet computers in-and-out of the classroom. The use of the Microsoft Surface Pro was examined as a tool to move students from the typical technology infused classroom using laptop computers into a truly mobile learning environment. The advent of the tablet device has fundamentally changed the instructor’s ability to mobilize the student’s learning environment, freeing them from the limitations of laptop based features, to expanding interactions and collaboration with other students. Given the cost of laptops, particularly for the lease based programs, students are concerned that they receive value for their investment. When they consider the costs for a mobile learning fee and the cost of purchasing a laptop on their own, the difference must be justified. While other smart devices have enhanced mobility, the tablet computer with its true portability, long-battery life and haptic capabilities has made the mobile classroom practical in functionality and versatility. A select group of first year undergraduate business and information technology students and teaching faculty participated in comprehensive surveys and focus group panel discussions on the use of tablet devices provided by the university. Overall, participants found the general computing capabilities and portability of tablets impressive, particularly for note taking and classroom engagement. However, the majority of students did not prefer tablets to laptop computers to meet their everyday computing needs. This paper will discuss the benefits, problems, and possible solutions to teaching and learning utilizing tablets in the classroom exclusively. Student perceptions of the technology, along with class activities will be covered including the instructor’s perceptions of the advantages and limitations of this new technology. Instructors found that students were fascinated with the new technology but that many did not understand the potential of the devices for increasing their productivity. Instructors adamantly agreed that training sessions were critical for students to learn the features and benefits of tablets and the software necessary for them to be used effectively as a learning tool. Many students and faculty involved in this pilot were interested in new technologies and represent early adopters. Additional institutional supports must also exist for the students and faculty members on the software that exists for leveraging mobility and advanced tablet features. This can be accommodated in a variety of ways, but should include workshops on using tablets for increased productivity for both students and faculty. This should include information on cloud data storage solutions as well as software such as OneNote and the mobile Blackboard application. These software solutions are already readily available, and help meet many of the desires expressed by participants in terms of applications they would like to be able to use to improve their time management and academic performance. This study represents an initial starting point to understanding the impact of tablet devices in higher education learning environments.
@InProceedings{PERCIVAL2014EXA,
author = {Percival, J. and Claydon, T.},
title = {EXAMINING THE USE AND LEARNING OUTCOMES OF TABLET DEVICES IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4654-4664}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Percival AU - T. Claydon
TI - EXAMINING THE USE AND LEARNING OUTCOMES OF TABLET DEVICES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 4654
EP - 4664
ER -
J. Percival, T. Claydon (2014) EXAMINING THE USE AND LEARNING OUTCOMES OF TABLET DEVICES IN HIGHER EDUCATION, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 4654-4664.
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