Tilman Wolf

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Massachusetts Amherst

HP Tablet PC Project: 2006-07

Tablet PC Use

We use Classroom Presenter for both lectures and discussions. This software allows the instructor to annotate slides (created in PowerPoint) with electronic ink during presentation. In discussion sessions, students use Tablet PCs to solve problems on their Tablet PC and thus actively participate. The setup of Tablet is shown in the figure below:Setup of Tablet PCs in classroom

With this hardware and software setup, lecture material can be presented in a much more dynamic and interactive manner. The following images show a comparison of a traditional PowerPoint slide and an annotated slide in Classroom Presenter:

In discussions, students are actively involved through the use of Tablet PCs. The benefits over traditional "chalkboard discussions" are:

Assessment Study

We have completed an extensive assessment study to evaluate student perception of Tablet-PC-based instruction in lectures and discussions.


When asked about the pace of a lecture presented with a Tablet PC, students perceive it to be more well-balanced than with PowerPoint. Also, lectures are perceived to be more interesting. The results of a 1385 survey responses from two instances of the same course (one using PowerPoint and the other using Classroom Presenter) are shown below. Both observation are supported by data with statistical significance.

In terms of student performance, a small increase of average performance can be observed.

A detailed description of the assessment methodology, results, and analysis can be found in:


In discussions sessions, we have surveys students opinion on the use of Tablet PCs as compared to traditional discussions that use a chalkboard. Students perceive that they learn more and thus prefer Tablet PCs over chalkboard discussion.

More details, student comments, and sample student solutions can be found on the poster presented at the HP Technology for Teaching conference: