
05977353
j
2011f.00910
Loch, Birgit
Galligan, Linda
Hobohm, Carola
McDonald, Christine
Learnercentred mathematics and statistics education using netbook tablet PCs.
Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 42, No. 7, 939949 (2011).
2011
Taylor \& Francis, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
EN
U55
R25
tablet PC
netbook tablets
statistics
learnercentred
student engagement
active learning
collaboration
first year students
tertiary mathematics eduation
experience reports
doi:10.1080/0020739X.2011.611910
Summary: Tablet technology has been shown to support learnercentred mathematics education when this technology is available to both the lecturer and the students. However, cost is often the barrier to students' use of tablet PCs for their university studies. This article argues that more affordable netbook PCs with tablet capabilities can be viable alternatives to fullsized tablet PCs to enhance active and collaborative learning in mathematics and statistics. For a whole teaching semester, netbook tablet PCs were given to volunteer students from two different cohorts. Students were enrolled in nursing mathematics or introductory statistics in nonmathematics majors at an Australian university. The aims were to gauge the suitability of this technology and to identify what active and collaborative learning emerged in these firstyear classes. While the netbook tablet PCs were actively promoted in their tutorials, of additional interest was students' use of the technology for any aspect of their studies both inside and outside the classroom. The outcome of this study was to inform a university decision to provide inexpensive tablet technology to larger cohorts of students. The results highlight different approaches required in the mathematics and statistics classes to achieve collaborative and active learning facilitated through the technology. Environmental variables such as the tutor, student, learning space, availability of other technologies and subject content had an impact on the nature of learning. While learnercentred education can be facilitated by inexpensive netbook tablet PCs, we caution that the savings may come at the expense of computing power.