Personalised computing technologies that enhance quality teaching: A case study of the impact of introducing 1:1 iPads to Bachelor of Teaching undergraduate students.

Year: 2019

Author: Barbieri, Walter

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Educational institutions globally have been introducing computing technologies with increasing numbers, including Australia which featured the highest proportion of computers in schools of 62 sampled countries in a 2012 OECD report. Increasingly, the device ownership model is tending towards personalised, student-owned tablet devices. A more recent survey conducted by Pearson in 2015 found that 78% of elementary school students, 69% of middle school students and 49% of secondary school students owned a personalised mobile learning device.

Considering that the use of computing technologies among Australian schoolchildren is high by global standards, it is incumbent on tertiary institutions delivering teaching qualifications to prepare aspiring teachers to develop capabilities that will enable them to make effective, efficient and innovative use of these technologies both during their undergraduate studies and in their teaching thereafter. This paper focuses on an example of a program aiming to achieve just this.

Available literature on the effectiveness of the introduction of personalised computing technologies in educational institutions is mixed. In Greece (Symeon 2018) students experienced much benefit through the introduction of personalised iPads and in Germany, iPads had either no or a negative impact on student achievement and engagement (Johnson 2017). Drawing from recent Australian case studies, Kryukov and Gorin (2017), and Stoddart (2015), claim that digital technology is almost the only consistent factor that is changing the way tertiary academics teach and as such is central to teaching innovation.

This paper offers findings from a case study of 1:1 iPad implementation in a tertiary institution for all first-year students of the Bachelor of Teaching degree. The program is supported by a range of structured learning activities to help students and their lecturers use the devices meaningfully.

A mixed method methodology involving baseline and control group data, as well as quantitative and qualitative data, measures the impact of the program's implementation. Findings include a n-pointLikert scale survey testing students’ sense of efficacy with their digital capabilities, printing-quantity data, analysis of modes of course assessments, and student views of digital assessment modes. Data is displayed through dynamic graphic tools to demonstrate changes in the data sets over time and across the control group, as well as offering citations from qualitative responses.

As the introduction of personalised technologies in universities is a worldwide phenomenon, this study holds the potential of broad applicability and interest.