Tablet technology to facilitate improved interaction and communication with students studying mathematics at a distance
- Year: 2012
- Author: Galligan, Linda; Hobohm, Carola; Loch, Birgit
- Journal Name: The Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching
- Journal Number: 31.4
- Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
- Published Location: United States
- ISBN: 07319258
- Country: Australia
Teaching and learning of mathematics is challenging when lecturer and students are separated geographically. While student engagement and interaction with the course, with other students and with the lecturer is vital to mathematics learning, it is difficult to facilitate this electronically, because of the nature of mathematics. With tablet technology now becoming ubiquitous and many new and inexpensive models entering the market, it is timely to investigate how the distance student experience in mathematics can be impacted by the use of tablet technologies. This paper reports on a case study of a first year mathematics course at a regional Australian university, where distance students were provided with affordable tablet PCs. An investigation of the impact of this technology on engagement and interaction is at the centre of this study. Evidence from journals, students' assessment submissions, screen snippets, student communication and formal student evaluations is analysed. It was found that distance students acknowledged the value of tablets for communicating mathematics, particularly for assignment submission and feedback, but they also recognized the potential for easier interaction with content and the lecturer. This paper highlights the specific benefits and challenges tablet PCs present to the learning experiences in mathematics within the distance context.
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