Gateway to Student Success: Convertible Notebook Laptops in the Natural Resources Classroom and the Field. By Jeanne L. Pfander and Dr. Jeffrey Fehmi University of Arizona USAIN Conference April 29, 2008. Abstract. Many readers continue to prefer print to
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Jeanne L. Pfander
and Dr. Jeffrey Fehmi
University of Arizona
April 29, 2008
Many readers continue to prefer print to
electronic when it comes to reading books or
extended amounts of text. A project is in
progress during Spring semester 2008 to
investigate whether laptop use will encourage
e-book readership and at the same time
enhance the learning experience in the
classroom and the field.
The librarian in this project is partnering with a
professor teaching an upper-division course
Vegetation Management of Wildlands (Range
The E-295C Convertible Notebook converts from notebook mode to tablet mode and allows for both keyboard and digital pen input.
3 USB ports
1 network port
1 modem port
1 external monitor port
IEEE 1394 (firewire) port
1 PC card slot
1 media card slot
80Gb hard drive
CD Burning Software
Microsoft Office 2007 with
compatibility pack but no Language
Tablet PC Software
Viewing and Listening Software
Library Pharos Printers
Students received training on the Gateway
Notebook at the beginning of the semester from
the librarian, UA Libraries IT staff and Materials
Access Team (circulation) staff.
Ongoing technical support is provided by the
Libraries and the University’s Office of Student
Computing Resources (OSCR) labs.
The librarian also provided instruction in
subject-related library research, e-book
interface training and training in RefWorks
bibliographic management software.
Students were given an assignment to create a
bibliography on a topic of their choice.
58% of respondents use daily. 42% of respondents use only rarely or occasionally.
44% daily; 14% occasionally; 42% rarely or never
Word and web browsers, followed by Excel and OneNote
85% never; 15% only once
Comments regarding frequency of use:
Comments regarding benefits of having Gateway laptop:
Comments regarding problems or difficulties of having Gateway laptop:
Although the project is not yet complete, from observation and
the responses documented above, the authors conclude that, in
general, students are not taking advantage of the functionality
and unique features of the Gateway laptop, particularly in the
classroom setting, much less in the field.
It remains to be seen (from the post-course survey and focus
groups) whether student use of e-books and other full-text
online content has increased as a result of having the Gateway
laptop for the semester.
The “embedded librarian” in the field on class visit to riparian restoration site!