The effect of student tablet PC use on their attitudes towards and understanding of conceptual design

Hien Nguyen, John Wise, Sven Bilen, Richard Devon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Engineers who work in innovative design spaces during conceptual design have very different CAD and graphics needs than those who work in more conventional design spaces such as those of detail design.1,2 They need rapid, parsed communications, which support rather than constrain creativity. We have been examining digital ink technologies such as digital ink pens, SMART Boards, and Tablet PCs (TPCs). We have been exploring these since 2004 in the context of a program offering an introductory engineering design course to about one thousand students a year and upper division courses in innovative and global design. We will report on our initial examination of using TPCs in student design teams. This paper reports on a nonrandomized control-group pretest-posttest study conducted at Penn State University. Half of a first-year design class used TPCs and half used traditional paper and pencil for part of the semester; the groups then switched tools. It is hypothesized that TPC use by engineering students will have a positive effect on their understanding of and attitude towards conceptual design. An instrument designed to collect information on student awareness of the design process was developed and administered as a pre- and post-test. Results of this test will be reported, and suggestions for further research provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Event114th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2007Jun 27 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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