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ERIC Number: ED566052
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 273
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3036-9967-2
A Tablet-PC Software Application for Statistics Classes
Probst, Alexandre C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Colorado School of Mines
A significant deficiency in the area of introductory statistics education exists: Student performance on standardized assessments after a full semester statistics course is poor and students report a very low desire to learn statistics. Research on the current generation of students indicates an affinity for technology and for multitasking. Generational research further indicates that millennials prefer immediate feedback and to be in control of their learning environment. A tablet PC mediated, multitasking, classroom intervention involving the use of tablet computers with a newly designed educational software application was designed as a solution to the challenge of statistics education. Software development for this research project focused on the specific educational needs of students born after 1982, defined here as millennials, with an emphasis on increasing active participation and learning through on-task multitasking and in-class chatting. The tablet PCs allowed students to utilize a virtual "pen" to take notes on pre-prepared instructional materials. A discussion area associated with each slide encouraged peer to peer collaboration in class while slide specific links to external content encouraged students to seek immediate clarification on challenging material. Previous tablet PC based classroom interventions are well liked by students but focused on slide annotations or note-taking alone. The immediacy requirement of millennials suggested that access to supplemental materials as the lecture is presented might prove valuable to mastering course content. Given the technological aptitude of the millennial generation and their unique learning preferences, a tablet PC based educational intervention was designed as the core of a pedagogical paradigm shift. Data collected using the tablet PC application in the fall of 2011 revealed that students did not learn or retain more than students in traditional classrooms. Students' desire to learn statistics was improved by the tablet PC initiative although students with greater computer skills, those who enjoyed learning with a computer and those who liked multitasking improved the most in their attitude towards statistics using the tablet PCs. Students did perform better on questions requiring statistical or graphical interpretation when using the tablet PC mediated classroom as compared to the traditional classroom. There was a drop in learning in the most skilled computer users suggesting that excessive multitasking may be detrimental to classroom learning. Females in the study reported lower familiarity levels with technology, a decreased desire to multitask and a lower desire to use a computer to learn than males. The tablet PC application had a significantly greater impact on males than females due to these learning preferences. While the tablet PC classroom environment did not successfully resolve the deficiency in statistics education, the research reveals some promising directions for future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A