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The advent of the tablet device has fundamentally changed the instructor’s ability to mobilize the student’s learning environment, freeing them from the limitations of laptop based features, to expanding interactions and collaboration with other students. While other smart devices have enhanced mobility, the tablet computer with its true portability, long-battery life and haptic capabilities has made the mobile classroom practical in functionality and versatility. Despite their popularity with students and faculty, usability studies concerning mobile tablet devices in post-secondary environments are lacking. This study is aimed at determining user perceptions and usability of Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in the classrooms of a Canadian university by both students and faculty. The use of the tablet was examined as a tool to move students from the typical technology infused classroom using laptops into a mobile, engaging, learning environment. Overall, participants found the general computing capabilities and portability of tablets impressive, particularly for note taking and classroom engagement. This paper will discuss the benefits, problems, and possible solutions to teaching and learning utilizing tablets in the classroom. This study represents an initial starting point to understand the impact of tablet devices in higher education learning environments.
Percival, J. & Claydon, T. (2015). A Study of Student and Instructor Perceptions of Tablet PCs in Higher Education Contexts. Higher Education in Transformation Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2015, pp.250-264.