of the strengths of the Science and Technology Division
at Cañada College is its student-centered approach
to teaching and the amount of individual attention
that the faculty devotes to students. The growth of
the Engineering Department in recent years has made
implementing this approach challenging.
Interactive Learning Network is designed to address
this problem by enhancing the instructor's ability
to solicit active participation from all students
during lectures, to conduct immediate and meaningful
assessment of student learning, and to provide needed
real-time feedback and assistance to maximize student
learning. It will also provide opportunities for students
to develop their ability to communicate effectively
and function in a team in identifying, formulating
and solving engineering problems.
Impact on Teaching
the Interactive Learning Network the instructor is
Achieve active participation of all students during
Increase the quantity and improve the quality of
assessment of student learning;
Maximize the ability and opportunity to provide
guidance and assistance when needed;
Improve students' ability to work and learn collaboratively;
Increase emphasis on understanding of foundational
concepts rather than memorization of facts;
Tailor instruction and assistance according to individual
Obtain feedback and solicit questions from students
who would not normally participate because it can
be done anonymously if desired;
Get a better understanding of students’ different
approaches to the same problem while allowing
them to progress at their own pace.
is like individual tutoring that allows the instructor
to work with each student’s needs systematically and
efficiently, without leaving the instructor’s workstation
using wireless technology.”
Tom Mohr, Cañada
Through the Interactive Learning Network, the focus in
the classroom shifts from the teaching process to
the learning process. Less time is spent by the instructor
delivering content through traditional lectures. The
lectures focus on introducing new concepts and applying
them to a few simple examples. More involved examples
are introduced as exercises that students work on
individually or in groups using Windows Journal and
appropriate software (Matlab, MultiSIM, AutoCAD) while
the instructor observes their progress, assess their
understanding by polling, address individual questions
using NetSupport School
software. Through this process the instructor guides
students and assesses student progress using NetSupport’s
Survey mode. Individual questions are received by
the instructor through the Help Request feature, and
assistance provided using Monitor, Share and Control
School software allows a quick assessment of
individual student understanding of concepts using instant
student surveys. While students work on examples and exercises
on their tablet PC's using Windows Journal, Netsupport School
allows the instructor to scan and monitor students' work from
the instructor's tablet PC. When needed, the instructor can
assist individual students or groups of students by taking
control of their PC's. The instructor is also able to
effectively manage the various interactions through Group
Chat, use of an electronic whiteboard, file transfer and
distribution, other computer applications and web
Impact on Student Learning
performance in the courses where the ILN was implemented
on a regular basis show dramatic improvements. For
fall semester’s Dynamics class, the class average
homework and quizzes improved by 14%, the test average
by 11 points, and the final exam by 9 points. The
results compared here include the make-up tests given
whenever the class as a whole does not do well. Last
year, a make-up exam was given for 3 of the 4 tests,
while no make-up exam is needed in any of the four
tests this year. The percentage of students who got
a grade of A in the class more than doubled that of
the previous year.
For the spring 2006 Circuits and
Devices class, student performance also showed significant
improvement over the previous year. The class average
homework was over 7% higher. The quiz average improved
by 19%, the test average by 7% and the final exam
by 8%. The percentage of students who received a grade
of A in the class almost doubled. These gains in student
performance are even more remarkable since number
of students in the class increased from 28 in 2005
to 41 in 2006.
Results of a student
survey of the impact of the project on
their learning show overwhelmingly positive student
opinions. Of the students surveyed, 78% agreed or
strongly agreed that the tablet pc’s and the NetSupport
School helped improve their performance in class,
and 100% would like to have this technology in other
schematic of the Interactive Learning Network (ILN) model
showing the interactions between the instructor (red) and the
students (white) is shown. In this model, the instructor is
able to initiate, monitor, manage, and control the various
interactions between the instructor and individual students,
among any selected groups of students, and among students
within a group.
project aims to use mobile technology to achieve intellectual
engagement of all students during classroom instruction,
and to reduce the barriers for educationally disadvantaged
community college students by addressing different
learning styles, and allowing for the design of more
meaningful and timely assessment of student learning,
as well as individualized instruction and assistance.
and Technology Division
Engineering Statics, Dynamics, Materials Science, Graphics and Circuit Analysis
Students Impacted: 150
Faculty Involved: 4
project is funded by an HP Technology for Teaching
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"Using Tablet PCs to Enhance Student Performance in an Introductory Circuits Course,” Proceedings: 2009 American Society of Engineering Education/Pacific Southwest Section Conference, San Diego, CA, March 19-20, 2008, 32-43.
"When Technology Makes a Difference: Studying the Impact of Interactive Learning Technologies on Student Performance," Strengthening Student Success Conference: Making a Difference, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA, October 3-5, 2007
"Maximizing Student Learning Through Real-Time Assessment,” Strengthening Student Success Conference: Making a Difference, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA, October 3-5, 2007
“Developing an Interactive Learning Network Using Tablet PCs in Sophomore-Level Engineering Courses,” American Society of Engineering Education, 2007 Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI, June 24-27, 2007.
"Classroom Action Research on the Effectiveness of Instructional Technology,” California Community College Chief Information Systems Officers Association and The Research and Planning Group Conference, Orange County, CA, March 27th, 2007.
“Using NetSupport School to Create an Interactive Classroom,” HP Worldwide Technology for Teaching Conference, Monterey, CA, Feb. 7-8, 2007
"Innovations in Engineering Education
using Tablet PCs – Panel Discussion with Four Institutions,"
2006 Frontiers in Education Conference, San Diego,
CA, Oct. 28-31, 2006
“HP Technology for Teaching Workshop: Using Technology to Create an Interactive Learning Environment,” Professional Development Workshop for San Mateo County Community College District, August 15, 2006.
an Interactive Learning Network in Sophomore-Level
Engineering Courses,” HP Worldwide Technology for
Teaching Conference, Monterey, CA, Feb. 2, 2006
Received the “Best Evidence of Impact Award”
as voted by conference participants.
Learning Network using Tablet PC’s,” Fall 2005 Engineering
Liaison Council (ELC) Conference - Teaching Techniques
Session, Fremont, CA, November 8, 2005.
Wiggins and Jay McTighe, "Understanding by Design, Expanded
Second edition," ACSD,
C. Jacobs, "Implementing and Assessing Cooperative
Learning in a Large Section of General Chemistry,"
presented at the HP Engineering Retention Symposium,
Nov. 5, 2003.
Koile, K., and D.A. Singer. “ Development of a Tablet-PC-based System to Increase Instructor-Student Classroom Interactions and Student Learning.” Proc WIPTE 2006 (Workshop on the Impact of Pen-Based Technology on Education), Purdue University, April, 2006.