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ERIC Number: EJ1016100
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1479-7860
In-Class Use of Laptop Computers to Enhance Engagement within an Undergraduate Biology Curriculum: Findings and Lessons Learned
Poling, Kirsten; Smit, Julie; Higgs, Dennis
Bioscience Education, v21 n1 p29-41 Dec 2013
Laptop computers were provided for use in three biology classes with differing formats (a second year lecture course of 100 students, a third/fourth year lecture course of 50 students, and a second year course with greater than 250 students, in groups of 25 during the laboratory portion of the class) to assess their impact on student learning and engagement. In lecture courses, laptop computers were used for web-based exercises to collect and analyse information while in the laboratory, these computers were used to compile student data into a single dataset for analysis. Over a three year study period, student responses were generated using surveys with a Likert response scale. In the third/fourth year lecture course, student satisfaction was the greatest; students strongly agreed that the laptop computers were enjoyable and helpful and felt that the classroom environment was very interactive. However, comparison of examination scores between years with and without laptop computer-based instruction did not show a measurable difference in student learning. In the second year lecture course, students had similar experiences but the average student responses were lower. In the laboratory course, student responses were neutral, possibly due to difficulties associated with limited time to familiarise themselves with the technology and/or variation in laboratory instructors. Student feedback indicated that technology can have a positive impact on student experience but difficulties with technical issues can counteract benefits, necessitating careful preparation and implementation of technology use. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy. Room 9.15 Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Tel: +44-113-343-3001; Fax: +44-113-343-5894; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A