iPad draws attention from students in lectures

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Just days after being released in Australia, Apple's new touchscreen device, the iPad, is being used at the University of Adelaide to boost student interaction in lectures.

Computer Science lecturer Dr Nick Falkner is using the iPad with a specially written application, developed in Adelaide, to almost instantly measure and graphically display student responses.

Dr Falkner says the new technology will improve student learning by helping bring lectures to life and raising participation and attention.

"This iPad application lets us quickly find out what students are thinking and display their answers back to them almost immediately within the lecture," he says.

"When students see that their opinions and participation matter, they get more involved and they stay involved for longer."

The application has been developed by software developer TwoLivesLeft, a local company formed by three University of Adelaide Computer Science (Honours) graduates Simeon Nasilowski, Dylan Sale and John Millard.

"As well as their enthusiasm and the skills they acquired during their studies, these three have benefited from the University's membership of the Apple University Consortium which provides scholarships and assistance with training and networking opportunities," says Dr Falkner.

Using the iPad in the lecture theatre for presentations and student feedback is just the first step. iPads will also be used to make relevant podcasts available to students.

"Higher education today is increasingly a blend of traditional lectures and making use of online and other digital technology," says Dr Falkner. "The next step will be to use iPad in lectures with the growing body of podcast material available for Computer Science students to support lectures."

Other recent technology being adapted for teaching purposes includes the iPod. Dr Katrina Falkner, also from the School of Computer Science and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, is leading a project to use iPods to speed up the process for assessment of students' programming skills.

Staff can assess student work with the results instantly recorded - reducing errors and enabling students to get rapid feedback on their progress.

 

Contact Details

Dr Nick Falkner
Email: jnick@cs.adelaide.edu.au
Lecturer
School of Computer Science
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6185


Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084