Learner-centred mathematics and statistics education using netbook tablet PCs

Loch, Birgit and Galligan, Linda and Hobohm, Carola and McDonald, Christine (2011) Learner-centred mathematics and statistics education using netbook tablet PCs. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 42 (7). pp. 939-949. ISSN 0020-739X


Tablet technology has been shown to support learner-centred 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 full-sized 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 non-mathematics 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 first-year 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 learner-centred education can be facilitated by inexpensive netbook tablet PCs, we caution that the savings may come at the expense of computing power.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information (displayed to public): Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-andconditions This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
Depositing User: Ms Linda Galligan
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2012 05:16
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 05:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: tablet PC; netbook tablets; mathematics; statistics; learner-centred; student engagement; active learning; collaboration; higher education research
Fields of Research (FoR): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080502 Mobile Technologies
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2011.611910
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19473

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