Arik Levinson's fall 2013 ITEL project aimed to enhance student learning in two sections of Econ001: Principles of Microeconomics, a large lecture class with 320 students.
Previously, he would toggle back and forth between projecting images using a desktop computer and projecting images from a document projector (mostly handdrawn graphs and equations during class). This method had several disadvantages, including the inability to quickly edit PowerPoint images for presentation, display images sidebyside, or preserve handdrawn sketches made in class.
There's a happy medium between old-fashioned writing on the board and pre-canned PowerPoint slides. Students need to see their instructor writing stuff down.
Using a Windows tablet computer and additional software, Levinson was able address all of these issues, projecting a combination of preposted images and live inclass writing, presenting images sidebyside with only one digital projector, and preserving his inclass written examples for subsequent student review. Through his use of the tablet, he facilitated better classroom presentations, achieving the goal of his project.
Results from student feedback indicate that 96% of students in these courses felt that their learning benefited overall from the way that the instructors used technology in the course. 85% of students believed that the tablet was a better technology for teaching large classes than other technological alternatives.
Given the positive results from this project, other faculty members in the economics department have adopted this teaching tool. Levinson used the tablet in a spring 2014 course and continued this research through participating in the ITEL Round 3 Tablet Cohort.
Levinson, Arik. "Tablet/Mobile Computing Panel" presenter at the Teaching, Learning & Innovation Summer Institute, Georgetown University, DC, May 2014.
"ITEL Project Showcase" in Issue 4 of The Prospect