BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Starting this semester, when Rex Cutshall asks his business students to prepare detailed answers to the problems he poses in class, figuratively he´ll be able to follow along and look over their shoulders — all 45 of them.Undergraduates in Indiana University´s Kelley School of Business are being introduced to innovative tablet computers that have touch sensitive displays that permit them to write answers directly on the screen. Faculty members hope this new technology will allow them to more readily assist students´ work and improve instruction.
Hewlett-Packard Philanthropy has awarded the Kelley School with a grant valued at $125,000, including 45 HP TC4400 table PCs and $15,000 in cash to purchase classroom interaction software developed by the Indianapolis-based company DyKnow.
Over the course of the semester, nearly every junior in the Kelley School´s Integrated Core Program will be given an opportunity to use the computers. Business faculty have been using tablet PCs for instruction, but this will be the first time that Tablet PCs will be provided to their students.
Tablet PCs have become commonly used by health care professionals and are becoming increasingly popular in education settings. With large touch-screens and all the functionality of a laptop, Tablet PCs go far beyond the touch-screen technology found in PDAs.
The Kelley School of Business will join the ranks of more than 200 campuses in 34 countries where HP has provided grants to transform learning and teaching through the use of Tablet PCs. Kelley was one of six business programs that received HP Technology for Teaching grants.
"With these tablets in the students´ hands, using this DyKnow software, the students can interact back with us live," said Cutshall, coordinator for the Integrated Core and senior lecturer of operations and decision technologies.
The HP grant will help the undergraduate integrated core expand its educational toolset by allowing the students to engage in active learning exercises within the classroom in real-time. I-Core faculty have been using tablet PC technology during their lecture presentations. Cutshall said student reaction has been positive, and they have commented how the use of this technology by the faculty makes understanding complex concepts easier and clearer.
"It goes from a one-way transmission — from instructor to student — to where I can present students with a scenario, a case, and ask them to etch out a solution and then as an instructor I can see everyone´s tablet if I want and selectively toss them up on the big screen," he said. "Students will be able to actively interact with faculty and other students within the classroom during the learning experience."
Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School, said he is pleased that undergraduates will be exposed to and benefit from this kind of advanced use of technology in the classroom.
"Innovation is at the core of everything we do at Kelley. It is exciting to see our faculty partnering with HP to bring a new twist to teaching and learning through the use of tablet PC technology," he said. "HP´s tablets and DyKnow´s interactive software, used in and out of the classroom, will revolutionize student engagement and learning."
The use of the tablets in the classroom will be part of an empirical case study developed by Cutshall and Dan Greiner, clinical professor of finance, to evaluate and report on the impact that this deployment has on the learning process.
"This technology will keep the Kelley School of Business on the cutting-edge of educational delivery systems," Cutshall said. "We know from the literature that the millennial generation requires individualized attention, interactive technology and equal opportunity for participation. This technology provides this."