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Strategies to remove barriers and increase motivation to use the Tablet PC in formative assessment

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Antony DekkersAntony Dekkers, Robin Howard, Nadine AdamsNadine Adams, Fae Martin
BACKGROUND The Tablet PC has been employed to provide feedback through formative assessment to students in preparatory mathematics courses at Central Queensland University for close to a decade. A study conducted in 2011 on formative assessment and feedback given via the Tablet PC within these courses conveyed extremely positive outcomes (Adams, Dekkers and Elliott, 2012). Approximately 90% of the 140 students surveyed found the feedback beneficial to their learning and that assessment was returned, on average, within two to four days. These findings would indicate that these methods should be adopted into mainstream higher education courses (Adams, Dekkers and Elliott, 2012). PURPOSE 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. DESIGN/METHOD Building on the research and experiences of staff involved in the use of the Tablet PC to provide feedback on formative assessment in preparatory mathematics courses, strategies are to be developed to implement and improve these practices in undergraduate engineering courses. Using a grounded theory methodology, the research team have a two stage process. Stage one which is reported on in this paper uses the observations of the team to identify the barriers and motivators. RESULTS 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. Stage one identifies the motivators and barriers and how these impact the uptake of the Tablet PC within the engineering school of Central Queensland University. CONCLUSIONS 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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Melbourne, Victoria


Swinburne University of Technology

Place of Publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Conference; Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC); Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC);

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Australasian Association for Engineering Education. Conference.