Exploring tablet PC lectures: Lecturer experiences and student perceptions in biomedicine

  • Julia Choate Monash University
  • George Kotsanas Monash University
  • Phillip Dawson Monash University


Lecturers using tablet PCs with specialised pens can utilise real-time changes in lecture delivery via digital inking. We investigated student perceptions and lecturer experiences of tablet PC lectures in large-enrolment biomedicine subjects. Lecturers used PowerPoint or Classroom Presenter software for lecture preparation and in-lecture pen-based inking. Using surveys and lecturer interviews, students and lecturers were asked to reflect on their tablet PC lectures in comparison to non-tablet lectures that used prepared images and a laser pointer. Quantitative survey responses suggested that students felt that the tablet lectures were more interesting, that they were more capable of keeping up with the lecturer, and they enhanced their understanding of the lecture content. Qualitative analysis of written comments indicated that students appreciated the real-time writing and drawings, particularly because these were visible on lecture recordings. When reflecting on their non-tablet lectures, most lecturers used the pen-based writing, drawing and highlighting tablet functions and reduced lecture pace and content for their tablet lectures.  Long-term tablet use led to lecturers making more use of digital inking, with less use of prepared images. Our results support the idea that tablet PC-supported lectures are conducive to improved management of cognitive load via reduced lecture pace and content.



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Author Biographies

Julia Choate, Monash University
I am an education-focussed academic and director of undergrdaduate education in the Department of Physiology at Monash University. We teach almost 3000 undergraduate students in a range of courses (e.g. medicine, science, radiography, biomedical science). I am responsible for implementing new teaching technolgies in the Department. I am primarily interested in using the tablet PCs for lecturing. Almost half of the Physiology lecturers have used a tablet PC for lectures, during which they annotate and draw (and these are video-captured with Echo360 software). I have surveyed the lecturers and found that, when compared to their traditional powerpoint lectures, the tablet PC lectures caused them to reduce lecture content and slow down. Student surveys indicate that they prefer the slower lecture pace, the annotations and they think they the tablet PC lectures help them to understand the lecture content.
George Kotsanas, Monash University
I am the academic director of IT for the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Phillip Dawson, Monash University
Lecturer in Learning and Teaching
How to Cite
Choate, J., Kotsanas, G., & Dawson, P. (2014). Exploring tablet PC lectures: Lecturer experiences and student perceptions in biomedicine. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(2). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.334