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Recommendations for Requiring Student Owned Notebook Computers Rich Goosen Product Design Engineering Technology 2/29/2008
Typical Motivations • More efficient facility use • Allows optimization for a specific program • Enhances program image • Can reduce institutional costs • Improves learning • Promotes computer literacy • Little reason not to
Typical Problems • Difficult to change institutional attitudes • Threatens existing infrastructure • Can require additional infrastructure • Increases student costs • Difficult to develop university standards that balance cost & performance requirements
Notebook Computers in PDET at FSU • Idea developed circa 1995 • Motivated by; • Lack of solid modeling software consensus • Lack of computer lab. capacity • Lack of available time for conventional lab. format classes • Need to increase hands-on learning • Student attitudes monitored since 1997 • Implemented in January 2001
Program Details • Student computer choice – program specifications • Required by January of 3rd year • Software license (stand alone) provided by program • Technical support by program faculty only • Power provided at student workstations
Start Up Problems • No software agreement • Hardware limitations • Organizational resistance • Leadership concerns • IT concerns • The Technology Fee • Windows ME
Available Data • Collected over a 7 year period (2001 thru 2007) • Each class surveyed after completing one semester of class using notebook PCs • 133 survey records available to date
Importance of Choice Is allowing students to select their own laptop PC a positive factor?
“How important is it for students to have the option of selecting a laptop of their choice?” 1= Very Important 5= Not Important
Conclusion • Students feel that being able to select a laptop computer of their choice is important.
Laptop PC Operation Can a laptop PC satisfactorily operate the required software applications?
“Describe your laptop PC’s operation running PRO-E.” 1= No Problems 3= Adequate 5= Unacceptable
Conclusion • Student laptop computers were able to operate the primary application software adequately or better for nearly all (93%) of the students.
Program Image Do students think that requiring a laptop PC is a positive or a negative for perspective students?
“For a student considering entering the PDET Program do you think the laptop PC requirement is a ;” 1= A positive factor 5= A negative factor
Conclusion • Most students (67%) participating in the program think the laptop PC requirement is a positive factor for those selecting an academic program.
Student SatisfactionMeasures How do students feel about using laptop PCs in class? How do students feel about being required to have one?
Parallel Questions • “Overall, how do you feel about conducting this course using laptops, compared to computer lab based classes ?” 1= prefer laptop 5= prefer lab • “Overall do you think PDET classes using student owned laptop PCs are:” 1= good idea 5= bad idea
Parallel Results 1= prefer laptop 1= good idea 5= prefer lab 5= bad idea
Conclusion • Most students taking a laptop computer class prefer classes using laptop computers (91%) and do not mind being required to have them (93%).
Cost Impact to Students What level of financial burden does requiring a laptop PC have on students?
Notes on Cost Impact Evaluation • Cost data not available for Winter 2001. • Estimated new retail cost of a suitable laptop PC in Fall 2001 = $1199, Feb 2008 = $749 • Data represents 86 total responses
Conclusions • Current students spend about $1200 for a new laptop PC. • Students historically spend more than required.
Conclusion • DELL is the vendor clearly preferred by students.
Out of Class Access How much time do students spend operating the target software outside of class? How much laboratory classroom utilization is saved by using notebook PCs?
“For each hour of class, about how much out of class time did you spend using Pro-E? ____ hours”
Conclusion • For the course evaluated students report spending an average of 2.18 hours out of class working with the target software for each class hour. • For equivalent access during class time this 1+3 class would require a 1+12 format. • Four Hours of classroom use would require 13 hours of computer lab access.
Lessons & Observations • It can hurt to be first • Software licensing is critical • Hardware must be adequate for software • Hardware failure is rare • Notebook batteries are problematic
Lessons & Observations (continued) • Internet access must be controlled • Largest Problem – Internet pollution • Best Instructor location – behind the class • Notebook computers are becoming equivalent to calculators
Lessons & Observations (continued) • Students are all familiar with PCs • Many students have bad PC habits • Students are PC fault tolerant • Students will find a way to get what they want
Lessons & Observations (continued) • Students use their notebook PCs for much more than school • Few students use their notebook PCs to take notes in class • Students prefer to have their own notebook PC • Students want to select their own notebook PC