Thursday, October 14, 2010

The final exam

The inaugural Project Management "Teaching with the iPad" has now come to an end.  I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately but I've been spending a lot of time grading and preparing some reports for the research portion of this class.  All but of few of the students have returned their iPads (yea, there were some students we had to wrestle them away from) and we are in the process of conducting focus groups with the students and writing up our findings.  We completed our 3rd survey last week and decided to launch a 4th and final survey in a couple weeks.  That survey will be kind of a post-mortem after the students have had a chance to readjust to being without the iPads. 

I should have some of the results ready next week, so please check back then.  The one thing I wanted to comment on was the final exam.  My final has always been taken using laptops or desktop computers when I'm teaching in one of the computer lab rooms.  It is an essay-type exam and typically results in 3-5 pages of typed material.  I was not teaching in a computer lab this semester so I told the students they could use laptops or their iPads.  Of the 40 students in my class, 39 used laptops and 1 used an iPad.  When I asked them why, there were 2 primary reasons.  First, the students said they didn't mind taking notes during class using the iPads but they were concerned they couldn't type fast enough and would make too many errors if they used the iPad.  Second, some students (even the ones who used external keyboards) said they were a little concerned about 'Saving' the file since there isn't an option to save your work.  A couple students also mentioned that the folder structure makes it sometimes difficult to find files.  Another student said it was too difficult to incorporate a drawing into a text program (none of them purchased the Apple wordprocesser App).  The bottom line was that they wanted to minimize risk and therefore decided to go with what they knew best.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to your analysis of the iPad experience. I am a '79 ND grad who blogs about how people interact with technology. You may be interested in my story from American University: