Last semester, we reported on the denizens of universities deciding to provide iPads to students, and even incorporate iPad usage and etextbooks into the fall semester curriculum. One class in particular, Professor Corey Angst’s Project Management course at Notre Dame University, piqued our interest. At the beginning of the fall semester, Angst proposed introducing the iPad into the classroom to collect data on how the devices impacted the student’s coursework and interactivity with the coursework and each other.
In late December, Angst released study results, and for us, the takeaways were somewhat expected. Overall, Angst found that students were more likely to find class more interesting, explore course related topics outside of class, and manage their time more effectively. Equally as important as the iPad’s functionality as an eReader was its ability to consolidate information and allow students to perform functions not available when using standard print textbooks. While Angst’s research did not include an evaluation of the iPad’s impact on student’s retention of information or their ability to learn more effectively, students were overwhelmingly in favor of continued use of iPads in the classroom. A large proportion of students who participated in the study reported it would be difficult to return the device at the end of the semester. From the study findings, it seems clear that the iPads and the use of etextbooks had a significant impact on students.
With college campuses being a hot bed of innovation reaching as far back as the creation of the first personal computer to today’s biggest social media network, Facebook, it’s not surprising that college students (and even high school students) would take to the introduction of iPads in the classroom with ease. Hopefully, the future will bring the release of more findings from Professor Angst’s “iPad Class.” We particularly look forward to seeing the devices impact on the learning process.
To read more about Professor Corey Angst’s “iPad Class”, view the “Teaching with Angst” blog.