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A New Face for Time-Honored Ideas Lessons From the Tablet PC Project at the University of Virginia

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  1. A New Face for Time-Honored IdeasLessons From the Tablet PC Project at the University of Virginia Charles M. Grisham Arts & Sciences CTO & Professor of Chemistry University of Virginia 1 April 2005

  2. Change is Hard • “I’m all for progress – it’s change I can’t stand.” • Mark Twain

  3. Provides professor input to Thomson on features and functions that would help instruction • Develop teaching plans that incorporate active learning and use of Tablet PCs in classrooms • Solution works on campus system A Partnership to Explore Classroom Transformation • Provides digital learning environment and integrated components for learning • Provides instructional design for user and professor experience: new pedagogical framework • Hosts all content • Provides tablet software that enables students & professors to integrate note taking into classroom & homework experience • Provides additional OneNote software for student’s use on own PC • Contributes a third of student tablets, discounts the balance • Seeding the market • Research to support adoption of new form factor • Sees opportunity to repeat programs on other campuses

  4. At University of Virginia – Fall, 2004 - 3 Pilots in the Classroom • 400 Tablet PCs deployed in 3 courses • Statistics • Cognitive Psychology • Biochemistry • Tablet PC provides additional value and interactivity, complements strong in-class wireless tools • Hybrid print and digital solutions developed in consultation with professors • All students buy book, but professors use digital solution to teach at least part of the course • Integrated digital components delivered in our own rich ‘learning environment’ that hosts TL content Founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia is consistently ranked among the best of all national universities, public and private. Of its 20,000 full-time degree-seeking students, 13,000 are enrolled in The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

  5. What we did – and how • Relied on staff of six in Arts and Sciences Computing Support • Built a locked software image on the Tablets • Used extra TA in each course for Tablet support • Built a plan for training students to use Tablets • Provided rich websites for each course at Thomson Learning • Linked Thomson sites through home-built CMS • No special arrangements for power in classrooms • Gave Tablets to faculty six months in advance of courses, to see what they would generate for use in and out of class

  6. What we did in biochem class • Embedded PowerPoint slides in OneNote for download • Used OneNote in lecture • Instructor annotating slides • Instructor recording voice throughout lecture • Students annotating slides • Instructor’s annotated, recorded slides provided after class for download by students • Created practice exercises for entire text and course – UDo files • Provided PDF files of textbook • Provided 200 Flash animations of text figures • Provided 120 3D protein modeling exercises • Provided pre-tests and post-tests on web site • Provided on-line literature searching

  7. UVA Prototype: Digital Replacement for Book; Custom Framework for Instructor Simulations relevant to a topic can be manipulated Rich Gale database of Biochemistry journal articles Students test themselves and program directs them to content that fills learning gaps Students use templates in OneNote to annotate lectures presentation using their tablets

  8. What we learned – the big picture • Late deployment and an early technical problem precluded a quantitative test of learning enhancement with Tablets • Response to Tablets was overwhelmingly positive • Teaching students to back up their data prevented panic if students encountered technical problems just before exams • No problems with battery life • Extent of student use of Tablets AND response of students to Tablets correlated strongly with instructor engagement • Instructor engagement was even catalytic – spurring students to use Tablets in their other classes • Students will do whatever they can to improve their grades • The vast array of resources offered was more than students could cover, so they learned to choose the exercises that helped them learn most efficiently

  9. Tablet PCs can promote Active LearningNew technology, but time-honored ideas… • Students’ eternal question: “How can I perform better in your class?” • Rewrite notes same day • Study actively—draw, draw, draw • Tablets are ideal for “active learning” • Problem worksheets, ideal for repetitive actions, reinforce learning • Iterative hand to head practice builds long-term memory

  10. Highlights of Research Results • Students preferred tablets over laptops • Slides in OneNote have a significant impact on students’ ability to learn and remember • OneNote was perceived as superior to other note-taking methods for taking notes, studying for exams, and writing papers • 94% of students rated problem worksheets (UDo exercises) highly for understanding concepts • 79% of students rated problem worksheets (UDo exercises) as effective study resources

  11. Highlights of Research Results • New technology increased options to develop individual learning styles • Available time for studying constrains the benefits and impact of new education content • Impact of technology-rich digital instructional materials on student learning—improvement in 3 areas: • Understanding • Memorizing • Reviewing & organizing

  12. Building a Pen Computing Culture at UVa • The pilot Tablets will be deployed in many other courses at UVa over the next two years • Drama – CAD-based scene and lighting design • Music – composition and playback • Writing-intensive courses • HP is establishing our computer store as a certified service station • HP is establishing a discounted price for Tablet PC purchase by students/faculty • University-wide lecture and demo, to show Tablet features and classroom uses to faculty, staff, and students • Tablet PC seminars in several venues • Hands-on workshops for interested faculty

  13. Data from the research study – Fall Semester 2004

  14. Acknowledgements • Hewlett Packard • Thomson Learning • Microsoft Corporation • UVa Office of Information Technology and Communications • College of Arts and Sciences Office of Computing Support