Delft University of Technology (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4470-4478
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Chalkboards are traditionally used for formula derivation and scientific explanations. At Delft University of Technology an advanced teaching environment is practiced for mathematics. Lecturers teach courses with a low latency interactive SMARTboard and four different video signals that are presented simultaneously. The video signals are for example a PowerPoint presentation, one or more digital chalkboard signals from the 8070i interactive SMARTboard, a Maple application, a PDF document or a browser window. The classroom computer contains a quad graphics video card to support those parallel signals.

The video signals are arranged in a four quadrant screen; top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. The top right quadrant represents the classroom computer's desktop. An application is started just as on any computer. The teacher can rotate this desktop signal clockwise or counter clockwise over the four quadrants with the DisplayControl application. Normally, multiple applications are operated in one and the same screen. Opposite to that a parallel presentation is strived for. In such way students watch all video signals at the same time.

Case description: The course introduction is given with a PowerPoint presentation ending in a proposition to be validated. In the second quadrant the derivation is shown, i.e. the formulas are written on the SMARTboard while the teacher explains taking students through the subject matter. When the slide is full the teacher continues with writing formulas in the third quadrant. The formulas from the second quadrant remain visible for the students in order to follow the discourse. When the slide in the third quadrant is also full the teacher returns to the second quadrant, chooses a next slide and continues the story. Finally, in the fourth quadrant the Maple application demonstrates the results in figures or graph that match the derived solution from the second and third quadrants.

Three 10-week periods were evaluated. The advanced environment is hard work for the teacher, because subject matter presenting over four quadrants demands alternative didactics and navigation skills. Still, they are very positive about the practice and would not want to teach without this system any longer.
Students were asked their opinion about readability, about following the discourse over four quadrants, and about their preferences with respect to chalkboard and SMARTboard. They are very enthusiastic and prefer the SMARTboard with four quadrants over the old-fashioned chalkboard. The students highly value the education's quality taught with this teaching environment. The subject matter is more clear to them.
Teaching environment, four quadrants, interactive smartboard.