I See What You're Doing: Student Views on Lecturer Use of Tablet PCs in the Classroom
Maclaren, P; Wilson, D; Klymchuk, S
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A fundamental component in the teaching of STEM subjects, particularly those involving mathematical processes, has traditionally been a classroom session with a teacher modelling theory and problem solving using a chalkboard or white board. While there has been generic criticism of this style of teaching, it has been strongly defended by practitioners in mathematical disciplines. This use of a dynamic handwritten approach has been linked with the use of boards as the necessary classroom technology. This paper arises from a study that surveyed students studying mathematically‐intensive engineering subjects at a range of undergraduate levels in a university environment. It reports on student perceptions of the effectiveness of board and alternative technologies within existing classroom contexts, and in particular, views on the use of pen‐enabled Tablet PCs (penTPCs). While not primarily examining the appropriateness of traditional classroom pedagogical approaches, the analysis does suggest potential directions for change. Students in the study revealed a strong preference for the use of penTPCs as a delivery technology. The high visibility of handwritten material delivered by this technology, along with support for inclusion of other digital outputs and post‐class access to material, were key factors influencing student preferences.