Strategies to Remove Barriers and Increase Motivation to Use the Tablet PC in Formative Assessment

Strategies to Remove Barriers and Increase Motivation to Use the Tablet PC in Formative Assessment

Antony Dekkers (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia), Prue Howard (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia), Nadine Adams (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia) and Fae Martin (Central Queensland University, Mackay, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJQAETE.2015070103
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Abstract

This paper investigates how engineering academics can be encouraged to integrate the use of the Tablet PC to improve student understanding of course content through formative assessment feedback. In particular, it looks at the barriers and motivators for using the Tablet PC. Based on the results obtained from studies conducted on the utilisation of Tablet PCs in preparatory mathematics courses, incorporation of the technology into engineering undergraduate courses would appear to benefit students. The Tablet PC is both an innovative and adaptive form of technology which is able to support the teaching and learning process. Through the recognition of the observed positives and negatives of Tablet PC application in other courses strategies will be implemented that remove the recognised barriers and provide benefits thus encouraging engineering academics to use the Tablet PC to provide feedback on formative assessment.
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What Is A Tablet Pc/Wacom Screen?

The Tablet PC is essentially a laptop computer that enables the user, through pen technology, to annotate (write) on the screen. Wacom Screen is similar to a Tabletpc but needs to be connected to PC or MAC. There was much excitement surrounding the technology in the late 1980s, reaching a peak by 1991 (Jones, 2008). It was envisaged that this technology would eventually replace the mouse and keyboard, but they were difficult to use and the handwriting recognition was inadequate (Jones, 2008). Fortunately, improved computer technology has resulted in greater functionality with the newer versions. Tablet PCs are now lighter, more efficient and more affordable; processors are faster; resolution is finer; and the handwriting recognition software has been vastly improved (Blickenstorfer, 2008). Additionally, no attempt has been made to replace the mouse and keyboard in the current Tablet PCs and although handwriting recognition is still a feature, “digital inking” (allowing the user to annotate on the computer using a stylus or pen) proves to be its strength (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Tablet PCs and Wacom screens

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