External Research: Tablet PC Technology and Higher Education 2006 Awards

Tablet PC Technology and Higher Education 2006 Awards

Microsoft Research announced the six recipients of the Tablet PC Technology and Higher Education awards, totaling $400,000 (USD) in funding. The objective of this award is to encourage educators to apply resources toward the revising, updating, and validating curriculum and pedagogy in conjunction with tablet technology in higher education.

Tablet PC Technology and Higher Education 2006 Award Recipients

Reinventing Music Analysis: The Integration of the Tablet PC into the Undergraduate Music Theory Classroom
Jennifer Snodgrass
Appalachian State University, US

This initial goal of our project is to implement Tablet PC technologies into the music theory classroom, while evaluating the efficiency of the Tablet PC in music analysis. The second goal for our study is to create an awareness regarding the benefits of the Tablet PC through an open-source Web site. Undergraduates and faculty are recording the musical selections used in this project. The final recordings, along with the student analyses created with the Tablet PC, are the basis for the open-source Web site. The site offers other music students and instructors the ability to view sample analyses, to listen to high-quality musical recordings, and to gain helpful information about using the Tablet PC in all undergraduate music courses.

The Redesign of Distributed Learning Environments Using Tablet PC Technology
Monson Hayes, Elliott Moore II
Georgia Institute of Technology, US

This proposal addresses several urgent needs and deficiencies in current designs of distributed learning (DL) classrooms. Specifically, using Tablet PC technology we are developing an environment to improve student learning. It will include active classroom participation to foster student to instructor, as well as, student to student interaction. Our DL classrooms are being designed around DyKnow Vision software and on a student-centered, collaborative learning teaching discipline. To evaluate the technology and our distributed learning model, we are using a variety of measures including formative and summative assessment methods. First, we are going to create a blueprint for the design of future DL classrooms at Georgia Tech Savannah and other campuses. Then, we plan to engage other faculty in the use of Tablet PC technology, especially those who have been accustomed to more �traditional� methods of delivering courses, to demonstrate to them the power of Tablet PC technology in education and motivate them to use it. We expect that our efforts will increase student acceptance of DL as an effective and viable approach to learning, and encourage them to pursue lifelong learning after graduation, which is one of our ABET program objectives.

Tablet PC Use, Diffusion Patterns, and Impact on Learning in Technology and Engineering Classrooms: An Integrated Task�Technology Fit and Social Learning Perspective
Sven G. Bil�n, Dongwon Lee, John Messner, Timothy W. Simpson, Angsana A. Techatassanasoontorn
Pennsylvania State University, US

Using integrated task-technology fit and social learning theories, we are studying the use and diffusion patterns of the Tablet PC and its impact on Learning in Technology and Engineering classrooms. In particular, we are planning to use various methods of incorporating Tablet PCs into classrooms such as Tablet PC ownership, scope of Tablet PC use, and distribution of Tablet PCs. For example, in our first method, by incorporating Tablet PCs through ownership, we mean either that only a teacher could own one, a teacher-and-all-students could own one, or a teacher-and-a team model could own a Tablet PC. In our second method, by incorporating Tablet PCs through scope of Tablet PC use, we mean to explore their use in-class only or in an everywhere else arrangement. Finally, in our last example, we aim to study what the impact on learning would be like by the distribution of Tablet PCs. This set up is based on half of the class using a Tablet PC while the other half using traditional learning technologies. In the end, the class will then collaborate and switch technologies. We plan to publish our findings in relevant journals and discuss them in conferences, workshops, and faculty brown bag talks.

Evaluating the Impact of OneNote Extended Video Application (EVA) on Clinical Teaching and Learning
Joe Derrick, Greg Sherman
Radford University, US

Faculty and students from Radford University are designing, implementing, and evaluating a Tablet PC based software application that extends the video capabilities of OneNote. This project studies the impact of these enhancements on the ability to counsel and teach students in disciplines like teacher, social work, and counselor education that rely on performance and observation evaluation. The planned software extensions allow importing a broader range of pre-recorded file formats for synchronized note-taking, that also facilitate online review of grading data by both students and teachers, via a connection to the campus course management system. Our two primary deliverables include: 1) OneNote EVA source code and executables with user and developer documentation, and 2) a detailed report evaluating the impact of the Tablet PC on learning in the classroom/field while using OneNote EVA.

Evaluating the Impact of the Use of Tablet PCs in Computer Engineering Education
Dr. Dar-jen Chang, Dr. Ahmed Desoky, Dr. Ibrahim Imam, Dr. Rammohan Ragade
University of Louisville, US

In this project we seek to investigate the educational impact of using tablet PCs at the JB Speed School of Engineering. We are investigating how students learn software tools and design methods, using a Tablet PC in our engineering curriculum. Along with this question, we are investigating concerns about the types of educational materials necessary for faculty and teaching assistants to work with the Tablet PCs. Our project aims to track utilization in specific core courses, which span both hardware and software areas. Data from the tracking will be data-mined for several comparative studies, to evaluate the impact of the use of Tablet PC on the educational goals of the program and for meeting the ABET accreditation criteria. These results will help us address and review the mandatory use of Tablet PCs in Computer Engineering. The results from this study will be shared at the ABET annual Best Assessment conference, the ASEE annual conference and SIGCSE conference.

 Deployment and Assessment of an Image Annotation and Retrieval Tool, including for Biodiversity
Dr. Edward A. Fox, Eric M. Hallerman, Ricardo da Silva Torres
Virginia Tech, US

We are deploying and assessing a Tablet PC image annotation and retrieval tool that will help scholars work with images and parts of images; associate them with multimedia information such as text annotations made with an electronic pen, or audio or video content; and, later, retrieve information based on text- and/or content-based image retrieval techniques. Our tool will increase the educational value of the Tablet PC by enhancing diverse courses involving use of images and annotations. We will assess the usefulness of this tool through multiple evaluations, in USA and Brazil, focusing on the biodiversity domain. One example of use could be by an Ichthyology professor, who annotates images of a species of a fish and shares it with his students. Later, students use this information to study for a practical examination. The main goal of this project is to assess the enhancement of learning though annotation and retrieval technologies, supporting both work with specific contextualized information and sharing among teachers and students. The deliverables in this project include the annotation and querying toolkit; evaluation instruments including questionnaires; and reports on the software and evaluation.


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